Airbus has signed a partnership agreement with leading UK aeronautics and engineering institution, Cranfield University, to help ensure graduates have the right skills to face future challenges in a complex and competitive aerospace environment.

The signing ceremony took place at the recent Farnborough International Airshow in the presence of university representatives and senior Airbus management.

Cranfield University is the latest university to join the Airbus Academic Programme (AAP), which aims to partner with universities and higher education institutions around the world to develop an industry leading pipeline of talent and innovation by fostering world-class university relationships.

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"These partnership agreements underline our commitment to working hand-in-hand with academics and engineering education leaders to develop and secure the skills the aerospace industry will need in the future," said Thierry Baril, chief human resources officer of Airbus.

"Developing the right talents and skills is vital to our success. We are proud to partner with Cranfield University in our pursuit of pioneering sustainable aerospace."

The agreement aims to foster long-term collaboration in all areas of mutual interest, including the development of strategic competences, notably in the fields of decarbonisation, digital transformation, software engineering and cyber technology.

"We are proud to be part of this programme - there can be no doubt that this rapidly evolving and exciting sector requires a flow of highly skilled talent," said Prof Iain Gray, director of Aerospace at Cranfield University.

"Our longstanding work at Cranfield around intelligent automation, robotics, thermal management, space, helicopters and defence will feed into this programme, creating the talent of the future for aerospace."

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Airbus is committed to provide development and learning opportunities for young people with investment in Early Careers Programmes (Graduates, Interns and Apprenticeships) in 2023 growing by 26% in the UK in comparison to 2022. Airbus offers 15 different Degree Apprenticeships as a route to join team Airbus, with applications opening in September 2022.

2022 has also seen the launch of the Airbus Global Graduate Programme (AGGP) which will create 190 new positions in the UK in September 2023. This cohort will develop technical experts, future senior functional and business leaders through a dedicated development programme.

In January 2022, Airbus announced it launched a recruitment plan of around 6,000 new hires across the group in the different functional and geographical areas of the company, with more than 500 people hired in the UK so far in 2022.