The London Ambulance Service and Greggs are among the winners of the very first Mayor of London Adult Learning Awards, FE Week can reveal.
The awards, sponsored by FE Week and Ascentis, recognise inspirational Londoners that have overcome barriers and excelled at work and in life through adult education. Employers and providers were also recognised for their contribution to adult learning in the capital.
Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, said the awards provided hope in difficult times:
“With the cost of living rocketing and exerting huge pressures on individuals and families across our city, it’s never been more important to make sure that Londoners are getting the helping hand not just to keep the heads above water, but to succeed and thrive” he said.
Winners of the nine award categories were joined by the their families, the Mayor, Morley College’s Big Band and stakeholders from London’s education and skills sector at the ceremony at City Hall on Wednesday evening.
The awards were set up by the Mayor as party of his skills strategy ‘Skills Roadmap for London’. Published in January, the strategy sets out plans to promote the benefits of adult education to improve community outreach and celebrate the achievements of the sector.
Officers from the GLA were supported by Learning and Work Institute to assess over 200 nominations and come up with shortlist. It was then down to representatives from London’s skills and employment sector to select the final award winners and highly commended recipients.
Among this evening’s winners was Ghazal Mottaghi who received the learning for good work award. Despite having a visual impairment, Mottaghi trained as a video content creator through her employer, Pink Tea Café, and now runs their social media and website.
“Winning the award is an amazing accomplishment. I’m sure it’ll bring me more opportunities” Mottaghi said.
Greggs were named employer of the year for adult learning for their partnership with Lewisham College to create the Greggs team leader sector-based work academy. More than fifty learners have progressed to team leader and shift supervisor roles through the programme.
The apprentice employer of the year award was received by London Ambulance Service NHS Trust. Judges were impressed by the Trust’s paramedic apprenticeship programme which recently marked its 1000thapprentice start.
And the anti-poverty charity St Giles Trust was named distinguished provider of adult education. The Trust works across London and provides specialist services and training to help people facing multiple disadvantages into education and employment.
The Mayor of London has had control over a devolved adult education budget (AEB) worth £320 million in 2022-23. Khan was applauded by providers in July when he announced a 3.5 per cent funding uplift for AEB courses at level 2 and below from this academic year. Londoners earning less than the London living wage already have access to free training.