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City of Wolverhampton College is celebrating after being named runners up in a national award for the way it inspires and prepares young people for the world of work.

The college was up for the AoC Beacon Award for Careers Advice and Guidance after impressing judges with its Student Hub. Winners were announced by comedian Jon Culshaw at a celebration event at the AoC Annual Conference and Exhibition in Birmingham on November 16.

In the last year the hub has provided advice and guidance to more than 2000 young people, with students able to access financial support, additional learning support and counselling all from one collaborative centre.

Staff focus on matching students with the right career path, and monitor the local labour market to ensure young people are aware of employment opportunities. A new team has also been created to focus on students at risk of dropping out. As a result, over the last two years 42% fewer learners have left the college early within the first six weeks of their programme.

Principal Claire Boliver said: “We are very proud of our student hub and delighted to be runners up against what was some very tough competition.”

This is not the first time the college has been shortlisted for these awards. Last year it was honoured with the AoC Award for Outstanding Leadership of Improvement and its Award for College Engagement with Employers. It all received the Leading Light Award for its winning entry in the Engagement with Employers category, for its programme which aims to change the long-term prospects of its local area.

The AoC Beacon Awards celebrate the best and most innovative practice among UK further education colleges. They reward colleges that go above and beyond in providing high-quality technical and professional education. Award winners must also offer something exceptional to students and the wider community.

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