Aerospace companies across the world require a strong and innovative education and training infrastructure, to improve their international competitiveness through enhanced quality, performance and safety.
Wales has a skilled, loyal, committed and flexible workforce that provides the inward investor with access to the right experience; knowledge and where appropriate transferable skills for re-training exist. Over 20,000 people are employed in the aerospace sector in Wales, and in the region of 25,000 people are employed in the automotive sector by global names such as Bosch, Calsonic, Ford, Toyota, etc.
Educationally, Aerospace personnel in Wales are highly qualified in specialist areas sought by aerospace companies, including research, manufacture, and maintenance for both operators and support. The aerospace sector in Wales recruits people of high ability and invests heavily in training.
Constantly changing regulations, new technology, equipment development and human resources influence future education and training needs. The infrastructure to keep employees up to current industry standards is very strong in Wales. For instance, Cardiff & Vale College (formerly Barry College) International Aerospace Training Centre (ICAT) has the resources and expertise to undertake all aspects of aerospace training including: aerodynamics, aircraft electro-mechanical systems, aircraft industry management, aircraft maintenance, aircraft structural integrity, avionics, industrial studies and common skills A&B, jet aircraft propulsion technology, and procurement and systems.
The centre is able to offer a range of courses in aeronautical engineering aimed at satisfying the qualification needs of all age groups at novice or advance levels. Training in airframe, propulsion, electrical and avionic trade disciplines is structured to assist those hoping to embark on a career in the Air Transport Industry. For the experienced engineer, further and advanced training courses are tailored to the Civil Aviation Authority guidelines for the Certification of Licensed Aircraft. These are continually updated to meet current legislative requirements. The centre also offers BTEC courses in Aeronautical Engineering at National and High National Certificate levels and is currently in the process of being audited by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for approval to become one of only four proposed aerospace training providers in the UK. Once approved as a JAR 147 Approved Maintenance Training Organisation, it will provide a single maintenance-training standard throughout Europe for the training and licensing of aircraft engineers and technicians.
Industry and Education Links and Collaboration
Colleges and Universities in Wales collaborate to enhance their ability to respond to needs of the sector that they service, with constantly developing modern and advanced training courses. A new initiative called Aerospace Training Wales further strengthens this collaborative activity. Key academic and training institution have joined forces with the International Aerospace Training Centre to further enhance the range of services available to the aerospace sector:
–Coleg Cymoedd provides apprentice training for GEAES and BAAE. Courses offered are BTEC and HNC in Aerospace engineering. Pontypridd College offers training needs analysis and bespoke courses at its principal purpose built Manufacturing Technical Training Centre (MTTC) located at Treforest.
–Ystrad Mynach College merged with Coleg Morgannwg to become Coleg Cymoedd in 2013.
– Coleg Cambria (Deeside College) has in Airbus UK a major partner. In addition to bespoke courses for industry, Deeside offers craft mechanic City and Guilds, BTEC and HNC/D in aerospace engineering. The College is also a partner with NorthEast Wales Institute for Higher Education. British Aerospace Systems has formed its own virtual university as an innovative approach to the organisation of education, training, employee development and technology research.