A high impact behavioural development module, co-designed as part of the Airbus graduate programme to effectively build the skills graduates will need in their career.

  • Effectively builds networks
  • Fast tracks personal growth
  • Embeds Airbus values
  • Develops leadership skills
  • Builds self discovery and development areas
Business need

Airbus wanted to equip their future leaders with the behaviours, attitudes and self-awareness needed to meet the demand for high performing individuals in the organisation.

The programme needed to help the graduates to fast track their personal growth and become more effective more quickly. Future career success will also be supported through an ability to interpret and align their strengths to the Airbus Values and Leadership Model.

The outcome

“Comfort zone is a phrase often used. Rarely have I seen it understood, assessed, and then expanded to new boundaries than I have on our graduate programme. Both our graduates and our organisation will reap the benefits for years to come.”

Danny Curtis, Early Careers Manager, Airbus

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Airbus graduates
In their words...

“My Outward Bound experience was one I will never forget. From meeting new colleagues to learning more about myself, the whole experience was exceptional.

Personally I built on my team work, coordination and self confidence. I pushed myself beyond what I thought I was capable of. I moved from saying ‘I can’t’ to ‘let’s try’ and eventually ‘I can!’. I also learnt that failing is OK. It’s more important to learn, get back up and try again. I continued to push myself and use the strength of the team to help with my weaknesses to succeed.”

Elli Cooper, Procurement Graduate, Airbus UK

I moved from saying ‘I can’t’ to ‘let’s try’ and eventually ‘I can!'
How we did it

An Outward Bound intervention has been a longstanding element of Airbus’ graduate development programme. Our partnership approach has embedded the programme within the graduates overall journey, evolving as times and business need change. At the heart is a focus on behavioural competencies, Airbus Values and Leadership Model. Graduates are also supported to align outcomes to their future career beyond the graduate development programme.

The intensity of outdoor learning and the residential experience builds networking and camaraderie in a way that can’t easily be replicated in a hybrid working environment. The graduates learn to take care of the engagement of the team, ensuring a sense of purpose which can be hard to build when they are dispersed throughout the business.

The learning environment at Outward Bound also allows graduates a unique place to develop transferable skills. The project management required to complete the learning journey is one. Learning by failing is another. For many graduates this is the first time they’ve been in a safe space to try something new, to fail and to regroup. This is a key attribute required for leaders, and learning through adventure allows consequential, memorable and yet a safe space to develop this skill.

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Airbus graduates at Outward Bound

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Over 4000 apprentices and graduates take part in an Outward Bound learning and adventure programme every year. From connecting with company values to building resilience and communication skills, we work together to fast track their development. The first stage is just a conversation...