AoC Beacon Awards honour the best that colleges have to offer

Twelve colleges from across the UK have been honoured at the Association of Colleges’ Beacon Awards for excellence in technical and professional education and training.

The AoC’s annual awards for FE and sixth form colleges were handed out by the comedian and impressionist Jon Culshaw on the evening of the second day (November 16) of its annual conference and exhibition at the ICC in Birmingham.

The Beacon Awards celebrate best practice at UK FE colleges, rewarding those that offer something exceptional to their students, and which go above and beyond to provide truly high-quality technical and professional education.

Each of the winning colleges has developed a programme that benefits the wider local community, such as helping young people to achieve skills for the workplace or making education and training more accessible.

The winners include Bridgend College, which took the award for developing transferable skills (sponsored by AQA) for its ‘Be all that you can be’ programme.

The scheme involved work with students from a very deprived local area and focusing on employability.

An enterprise manager at the college tasked with helping students and staff in every faculty and at all levels to seek opportunities to build their confidence and boost their transferable skills.

Gateshead College won the award for careers education and guidance (sponsored by the Careers and Enterprise Company) for a programme in which staff are trained to use their knowledge of the local employment market to direct their careers resources, and students are offered a range of workshops to help them get into work – such as practice Skype interviews and use of social media.

“The winning colleges are outstanding representatives of the excellent work happening across the country,” said Dame Pat Bacon, chair of the awards.

“It’s a privilege to be part of an awards programme that recognises the energy colleges put into supporting their students, staff, employers and local communities.”


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