ONE of the area’s greatest business success stories has opened its doors to Chester MP Stephen Mosley, to showcase their ongoing development and innovative apprenticeship schemes.

Airbus UK employ over 6,000 staff at their Broughton site, with an estimated further 2000 employed indirectly as part of secondary operations at the site. Business is booming for the wing manufacturing plant, with construction of the colossal A380 aircrafts’ wings in full swing and with a healthy order book for the production of Airbus’ new A350XWB aircraft

Accompanying Stephen around the facility was Steve Thomas, Airbus’ Government Affairs Executive, who described the new A350XWB as, “the future of aviation”. The use of composite materials in its design is what makes the aircraft so unique, helping to limit the environmental impact of air transport by reducing fuel consumption by up to 30%.

Manufacturing of the new wings will commence early in 2011, and to complement the new purpose built North Factory, the onsite Advanced Composite Training & Development Centre, officially opening today, will enable in house training for the use of these new materials and pioneering manufacturing techniques.

Following a whistle stop tour of the A380 factory, Stephen then met with a number of the company’s business and higher engineering apprentices to find out more about the benefits of work-based learning.

Steve Thomas, himself a former apprentice at Airbus, explained the importance of Airbus’ apprenticeship schemes to the wider productivity of the business: “Airbus is training over 600 apprentices across the UK, and has one of the largest training programmes across all industries in the country.”