Gloucestershire College marked National Apprenticeship Week in March with a VIP ceremony at its Gloucester campus when Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills Anne Milton spoke to staff and apprentices. She presented the Further and Higher Education College with the prestigious award, alongside Ian Munro, Area Director for the Association of Colleges (AoC).
The College was awarded the AoC Beacon Award for the promotion and delivery of successful apprenticeships due to its innovative apprenticeships programme.
The award judges were impressed by the success rates of GC’s apprenticeship provision, which is well above the national average, making Gloucestershire College one of the leading providers in the South West. The College was also acknowledged for expanding its apprenticeship provision and work with local employers, the community, schools and business organisations.
The Minister for Apprenticeships presented the award to Trish Burton, Chair of Governors at Gloucestershire College. Anne Milton spoke of her admiration for the College’s apprenticeship offering, and how it leads the way nationally. “I was thrilled to meet apprentices at Gloucestershire College and to present the College with their well-deserved award for outstanding apprenticeship provision – they should be very proud.”
Gloucester MP, Richard Graham, also spoke about his pride in how Gloucestershire was bucking the national trend. “When I go around the city, I find apprentices with real confidence. We should all be proud of our great apprentices, their employers and trainers like GlosCol. I’m so pleased that Minister Anne Milton could join us as the first female Apprenticeship Minister during National Apprenticeship Week. It’s great that she could meet some of our great apprentices in person.”
Matthew Burgess, Principal and Chief Executive of Gloucestershire College, said: “To be recognised nationally for our work in this area reflects not only the outstanding outcomes for the apprentices themselves, but also the impact on the employers’ businesses and the way that the College responds to employer needs in this area.
“This award is recognition of the fantastic work carried out firstly within our Apprenticeship Unit, which leads our work in this area, and also in curriculum areas delivering programmes to our apprentices and, indeed, all areas of the College that support this activity, and I would like to thank everybody involved in this.”
Despite the number of apprenticeship starts being down nationally by 61 per cent since the introduction of the levy, GC’s apprenticeship starts increased by 32 per cent, with an overall success rate of 84 per cent (national average 67 per cent in 2015-16). Gloucestershire College works with over 600 employers from small and medium sized businesses, to locally-based, globalised organisations including Superdry, the NHS, Stuart Holmes Hair and Beauty Salon, Ellenborough Park Hotel, Poeton Industries & Amey. The College’s Apprenticeships’ provision covers Level 2 through to Degree level.