Region’s colleges clean up at National Apprenticeship awards

Gloucestershire College and Abingdon and Witney College both came away with awards from the Association of Colleges recently.

Gloucestershire College (GC) received recognition for its innovative apprenticeships programme, winning the Association of Colleges (AoC) Beacon Award for the Promotion and Delivery of Successful Apprenticeships.

The award judges were impressed by the success rates of the apprenticeship provision to well above the national average as GC became one of the leading providers in the South West; expanding the breadth of provision and working responsively with local employers, the community, schools and business organisations.

Despite the number of apprenticeship starts being down nationally by 61% since the introduction of the levy, GC’s apprenticeship starts increased by 32%, with an overall success rate of 84% (national average 67% in 2015-16).

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.”

Julie Tegg, Head of Work-based Learning at GC, added:

“It’s a really proud moment for everyone at Gloucestershire College.”

Abingdon & Witney College won the Edge Award for Practical Teaching and Learning. The Edge Foundation, who sponsored the award, are an independent education charity and were particularly impressed by the College’s commitment to developing a moral and social code, with the aim of improving employability prospects and leading to an ethos of respect and responsibility.

‘Action Tap’ was the project that impressed the judges enough to earn the award. Piloted in 2015 within a small section of the College, it now sees over 100 students from across the curriculum areas of Business, Accounting, Sport, Public Services and Events and Tourism come together to work collaboratively on social action projects.