Leeds City College has won a prestigious Association of Colleges (AoC) Beacon Award for College Engagement with Employers. The award, sponsored by the AoC, was announced by Lord Willis of Knaresborough, President of the AoC Charitable Trust, at the AoC Annual Conference in Birmingham on Wednesday (19 November).
The college has developed an extensive approach that responds to the needs of employers, employees and students. It links directly to the skills gaps of employers through a range of options including an apprenticeship academy, a 14-16 academy, business incubation units, a free recruitment service for unemployed people and a project to help start up new businesses.
There is an impressive range of options available to employers and individuals, built on the strength of partnerships the college has made, and the multi-organisational approach in responding to local and regional employment challenges.
Almost 11,000 individuals are taking part in apprenticeships and the college delivers in-company training to over 2,500 companies and over 450 small and micro businesses.
Martin Doel, Chief Executive at the Association of Colleges, said:
“The Association of Colleges is proud to sponsor the Beacon Award for College Engagement with Employers, which recognises and celebrates the exceptional work that colleges are undertaking to meet the skills needs of employers.
“As the economy starts to recover, it is vitally important for colleges to work with local businesses to ensure that there are paths to employment for all their students, and there is no doubt that this project meets that need.”
Peter Roberts, Leeds City College Principal and Chief Executive, said:
“I am delighted that the College has been recognised by the AoC as being worthy of winning a Beacon Award for employer engagement. It is a fantastic acknowledgement of the work we do with employers – whether it be training employees through bespoke programmes, delivering apprenticeships, or supporting business start-ups. Our work also brings employers into the College to help design our programmes to give the skills to our students that employers want and we fully understand the need for our students to be enterprising and possess the generic employability skills needed for today’s economy.”
Chair of the AoC Beacon Awards, Dame Pat Bacon, said:
“Leeds City College represents one of fourteen outstanding initiatives which have been granted a prestigious AoC Beacon Award this year.
“Each year, the calibre of the winning applications increases and I am always impressed by the innovative and creative ways in which colleges continue to help students reach their potential.
“As the sector as a whole continues to support the economic recovery of this country, these Beacon Award winners are helping to shine a spotlight on the outstanding means by which colleges are embracing new technologies and partnerships to achieve this. These colleges are showing the way for others to emulate their excellent work.”
Roger Marriott, AoC Beacon Awards Chief Assessor, said:
“I have the privilege of reading all shortlisted applications and assessors’ reports for these awards and there are some truly inspirational initiatives which are enabling colleges to better support students, businesses and their communities.
“The quality of the shortlisted applications has been outstanding and all are to be congratulated. It was tough deciding the winners for the awards and Leeds City College can be rightly proud of its achievement.”
Leeds City College will host a local celebration event in the New Year and will be presented with its Award by Nick Boles MP, Minister of State for Skills and Equalities at a national presentation ceremony due to be held at Westminster on 4 February 2015.
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