Exeter College has been recognised with a top-four shortlisting for the Association of College’s award for Employer Engagement.

The Association of Colleges (AoCcelebrated top further education across the UK at its virtual Beacon Awards ceremony, and the College’s commitment to proactively working with employers for the mutual benefit of all saw them shortlisted for the coveted prize in Employer Engagement. 

The Beacon Awards are regarded by many as the most prestigious awards within the education sector, given the rigour and robustness of the assessment. 

Mike Blakeley, Director of Apprenticeships and Employer Engagement, said, “We are proud to be one of the four FE colleges shortlisted, in a really strong field made up of Fareham College, Bradford College and Hugh Baird College. Reaching the finals alone was a great achievement, and Fareham College, who won our category, were thoroughly deserving of the accolade.

“Today’s final was one of five we have been shortlisted for this year. Our amazing team provide exceptional support for all our stakeholders. Its unprecedented to gain national recognition at this level.  I want to thank them for their hard work and can-do attitude. They make me really proud and I appreciate each and every one of them.”

The College was judged on its submission titled ‘A City College with Region Wide Impact’, and a showcase day, with ‘partnership’ at its heart. Reaching the finals is testament to the College’s commitment to working with employers and Apprentices to achieve the best possible outcomes for the local economy and learners. 

John Laramy, Principal of Exeter College, said, “We pride ourselves on our partnership working within the city and wider region, and reaching the finals of the Beacon Awards is another national indicator of the quality of the impact of the College’s work with employers.

Our success is down to the hard work of the team here at the College, the quality of the Apprentices and trainees that study with us and the commitment of 100s of employers across the South West. I would simply like to thank everyone who contributes to the magical formula that has created exceptional Apprenticeship provision at Exeter College.”

Mike Blakeley continued, “It’s great news that the College’s work with employers has been recognised nationally. We are proud to be part of the community we serve, and we have developed longstanding partnerships that are vital in delivering skills development and driving economic growth for the city and wider region. 

“The College works with a network of over 1,000 organisations, with a reach that transcends regional borders – from Truro through to Reading. These include both national and regional players drawn from high profile organisations, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises and businesses. Some of our key partners include, Exeter Chamber of Commerce, NHS, GWR, Hepcomotion, Centrax, Devon County Council, University of Exeter, Exeter Chiefs, Met Office – I could go on. 

“Difficult circumstances have highlighted the strength of our employer network, and we have been working closer than ever to offer new opportunities and development through training – with some exciting projects afoot.”

Find out more about Apprenticeships with Exeter College

If you’re an adult learning interested in an Apprenticeship, register now for Exeter College’s Adult Online Open Event where you can find out more in a specialist session dedicated to Apprenticeships. The online event takes place on Tuesday, 16th June, 3-7pm.