Exeter College has made it to the finals of the Association of Colleges Beacon City & Guilds Award for Engagement with Employers.
The Beacon Awards celebrate the best and most innovative practice among UK colleges each year. This award, supported by City and Guild, recognises exemplary practice in demonstrating an outstanding ability to work with and provide a direct service to employers. In particular, colleges that are effective in meeting employers’ skills needs and Apprenticeship requirements.
Exeter College has made the coveted list of four finalists; recognised for engaging with employers and facing the skills challenges of industry in a proactive way.
The college’s Apprenticeships programme has had a hugely successful year, building on a legacy of success for students in industry. Businesses across a range of different sectors are currently hosting Exeter College students, with the record levels of recruitment, totalling 1150 new Apprentices, joining the college in the last academic year.
A recent Department for Education survey also announced Exeter College as the top rated further education college in the South West for business satisfaction, solidifying the college’s status as a leading provider of Apprenticeships to its network of 950 businesses across the region.
Students at Exeter College continue to develop their employability skills across a variety of courses in collaboration between the college and its affiliated local and national employers.
Mike Blakeley, Director of Apprenticeships and Employer Engagement at Exeter College, was delighted about the acknowledgement of the college’s partner-focused approach with employers.
“We’re all thrilled to have been selected based on the work we do with employers,” said Mike.
“We are coming to the end of an ambitious five year strategic plan and this is another accolade that helps us realise our aspirations of becoming the Apprenticeship provider of choice for the business community right across the region.
“We always want to ensure our students get the most out of their experience working in industry and that employers see the value of working with colleges to face the skills challenges of the future together. The appetite for local businesses to turn work experience into fantastic Apprenticeship opportunities has never been stronger and more beneficial.
“We are constantly looking to build on and improve the experience for businesses and employers as part of our ongoing mission to be a truly exceptional education and Apprenticeship provider.”
David Hughes, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, said: “Colleges often don’t get the recognition they deserve, the AoC Beacon Awards aim to showcase exactly why colleges are so important and reward their dedication to learners and their progress in the workforce. Colleges produce the workers of the future and it’s clear from those who have made it through to the final three that their contribution to local and regional economic development must be valued.”