This award supported by City & Guilds seeks to recognise exemplary practice in the delivery of provision: responsive to the needs of employers. The winner will need to demonstrate an outstanding ability to work with and provide a direct service to employers. In particular, the winning college will be highly effective in meeting employers’ skills needs and/or apprenticeship requirements. In addition, it is likely that there will be excellent examples of the College engaging with employers - to support the development of employability skills within the curriculum. The award is not targeted at a specific group, but applications should demonstrate a clear, long-term vision of partnership and working with employers. The provision offered should enable the development of a skilled workforce and contribute to local and regional economic development. The successful programme is also likely to be very responsive to identified skills priorities and levels of unemployment.
When completing the Stage 1 application (max 1,000 words) please take note that the assessors will be scoring equally for innovation, impact and sustainability. Applicants are advised that when constructing their submission, they consider carefully where best to place evidence to ensure the full range of the Award criteria are covered.
Colleges that exceed the AoC Beacon Standard will be invited to submit a full project brief for the second stage (building on the content in the first stage application), that will provide comprehensive additional evidence such as: responsiveness to employers needs, high levels of learner success and progression, innovative changes to the curriculum and very positive feedback from employers.
Colleges wishing to apply for this award should be able to provide evidence for most if not all of the following:
- A whole college approach to meeting the training, development and recruitment needs of many employers including apprenticeships, reflected in the college’s development plan and investment in employment related training;
- Responsiveness to a range of key economic and training priorities identified by local enterprise partnerships or other strategic and systematic analysis of local or regional skills needs;
- Systematic networking and collaboration with other organisations to provide a comprehensive response to meeting the training needs of employees and those seeking employment, by carefully targeting specific groups or individuals;
- Effective management of quality improvement strategies to achieve outstanding achievement rates, and levels of progression to sustained employment;
- A successful record of leaders, managers and governors enabling teachers, trainers and support staff to deliver sustained levels of high quality employer engagement, demonstrated by positive feedback from employers (including impact on their employees), improvements in teaching and learning and the curriculum;
- Well managed investment in training and development of college staff, and the provision of up-to-date facilities and equipment to industry standards; setting a standard for sector wide application;
- Development and implementation of flexible teaching, learning and assessment methods that promote equality and diversity, overcome barriers to access and respond to the needs of employers and learners.