City College Plymouth has been announced as a finalist for the AoC Beacon British Council International Award.

The Association of Colleges’ (AoC) Beacon Awards celebrate the best and most innovative practice among UK colleges each year. This award, supported by the British Council, seeks to celebrate an outstanding example of a College’s international work and the exceptional strategies to embed international activity within the broader College aims.

The College’s Strategic Partnerships and International team has been working on a number of projects that seek to raise the profile of Apprenticeships globally by engaging with employers and other education providers around the world. To also promote a sense of community, the team has been developing training programmes that see people from different countries engaging with project-based learning that shares a common aim.

Head of Strategic Partnerships at the College, Fiona Horrell, said: “Whilst the work that has been shortlisted for an award focuses primarily on Apprenticeship provision in Europe, the Strategic Partnerships and International team’s main aim is to promote partnerships in education across the globe.

“Thanks to the College’s experience in delivering international education, we have developed innovative programmes that address the barriers that we have encountered in engaging apprentices onto excellent work-based experiences. The programmes we developed were apprentice-focused, and were designed to encourage employers to allow their apprentices to engage in training that became an international exercise in exchanging ideas, training and best practice that will benefit the education provided to many thousands of people around the world.”

City College Principal and Chief Executive, Jackie Grubb, said it was just as important to the College that its international work contributed to strengthening a global community. Jackie said: “The College is committed to enriching the community through knowledge, experience and skills, but we see this community as one that extends beyond the city – even beyond the country’s borders. Through these programmes, we not only promote the value of education, but also the value of friendship and working together.”

David Hughes, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, said: “The AoC Beacon Awards showcase exactly why colleges are so important to every community and why people value them. This award recognises international collaboration and exchange, importantly helping to shape an international mind-set in learners. As the pandemic has shown, we must continue to find innovative ways to work with partners overseas and ensure students have access to the opportunities that are vital to skills development.”

The AoC Beacon Awards finalists were announced at the AoC FE Summit on Tuesday 17 November. Winners will be announced in spring next year.