"You are never too clever and never too old - keep learning."
The words of CEO David Jones rang out as the first 25 students graduated from Coleg Cambria's £3.5m Business School in Northop, North Wales.
More than 100 people were in attendance for the ceremony, including representatives from some of the region's top organisations.
Among them were UPM Shotton, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, CF Fertilisers and RDG Engineering, all now employing Cambria alumni.
Mr Jones congratulated the graduands and thanked their families for supporting their academic journey.
He added that a rise in apprenticeships at the college reflected a trend in the UK, with an increasing number of young people choosing to garner work experience in tandem with an education.
"We are proud to host the first graduation ceremony at our new Business School, it's a building that reflects what Cambria is all about - learning, jobs and the economy," said Mr Jones.
"For us it's about developing and making you competitive, ready to take opportunities in whatever career you choose to pursue."
He added: "In the past year we have seen an increase in our provision and a rise in the number of apprentices, with more and more coming through.
"That word 'apprentice' is more valuable than ever, and it's an area we will further strengthen as we move forward.
"As you move forward in your lives don't ever stop learning; you are never too clever and never too old, so always strive for improvement."
Among the accountancy, HR and finance foundation degrees and courses were ILM Level 4 Diploma in Management, Association of Accounting Technicians Level 4 Diploma, CIPD Level 5, NEBOSH, and ILM Level 5 Diploma in Management.
Coleg Cambria celebrates five years this summer and has grown steadily over that period, opening £40m of new buildings and numerous awards for education, community partnerships and leadership.
The most recent study by Economic Modelling Specialists International (EMSI) revealed the college generates income equal to 4% of the north east Wales economy, representing 18,030 average wage jobs and £353.8m each year.