College Scoops Two National Awards for Employer Engagement and Outstanding Leadership

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City of Wolverhampton College has been honoured with two Beacon Awards for its work with employers and the outstanding leadership of improvement.

It received the prestigious awards, from the Association of Colleges (AoC), which also sponsored both prizes. The awards demonstrate the excellent teaching and innovative thinking in the further education sector in creating positive opportunities for both staff and students.

The award for Outstanding Leadership of Improvement was given for the programme ‘A college transformed – facing the challenges and building successes’. It helped the college improve from an Ofsted judgement of inadequate to good with outstanding achievement.

The college’s ‘Employer Engagement’ programme helped it win the award for college engagement with employers. Research by the college showed there were skills shortages in areas such as engineering, construction and health and these have now been set as key priorities. Employer engagement is built into all substantial courses within the college and students are given the opportunity for work experience. Employers that work with the college include Unilever, Jaguar Land Rover and Wiggle, as well as smaller local companies.

Claire Boliver, principal at the college, said: “We are delighted to have been recognised with these prestigious awards from the AoC. The awards are a testament to the hard work of all the staff at City of Wolverhampton College and the support we receive from our employers and stakeholders, and we are looking forward to being able to work with others to share best practice.”

Martin Doel, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, said: “AoC is pleased to be able to reward a college which has done so much for its local community and economy by supporting both employers and employees. The college has used local market intelligence and identified that there is a high level of unemployment in the city and where jobs might be found. It has then used that information, to great success, in working with partners to support employers and employees and boost the economy.”

The award judges highlighted the college’s multi-layered work in partnership with other organisations to benefit the local economy and people.

Roger Marriott, Chief Assessor for the Beacon Awards, said: “Every year the Beacon Awards receive a large number of excellent submissions and the high standard made it hard for assessors to determine the winning application in each category.

“All the entries demonstrated the commitment of colleges to create the best possible experience for their students. City of Wolverhampton College can be rightly proud to be named as the winner in their categories.”

Dame Pat Bacon, Chair of the Beacon Awards, said: “City of Wolverhampton College is an outstanding representative of the excellent work happening in colleges across the country.

“It is a privilege to oversee these awards which allow us to celebrate the exemplary and innovative work colleges are developing to support their students, staff, employers and local communities, as well as helping to support our recovering economy.”

Representatives of the colleges were invited to the AoC Annual Conference and Exhibition where the results were announced. A local presentation ceremony will take place in the new year.

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