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Exeter College is celebrating being named the top provider of apprenticeships in the country.
Senior staff travelled to London for the Times Educational Supplement Further Education Awards, where they picked up the Apprenticeship Programme of the Year prize.
The awards celebrate those organisations who have had an outstanding influence on post-16 education.
The award comes during an exceptional time for the college’s apprenticeship team.
The college’s apprenticeship programme has gone from strength to strength in recent years and last year saw significant increases in terms of both new apprentices, success rates, and its first World Skills and VQ Leaner of the Year award.
The latest accolade follows the college’s 2015 Apprenticeships 4 England gold award and national recognition by Ofsted.
Both awards recognise Exeter College as the top college in the country for its support, delivery and engagement of apprentices and employers.
Ofsted selected Exeter as the only college in the country to feature in its short films highlighting the quality and commitment to its employers.
Principal John Laramy said: “I am delighted that Exeter College has won this prestigious Times Educational Supplement Award, that provides national recognition for the quality of our apprenticeship provision, which is also rated as Ofsted Outstanding and in 2015 was included as ‘best practice’ case study within the Ofsted publication ‘Apprenticeships: developing skills for future prosperity’.
“This award is testament to the commitment of the employers who work in partnership with us, a credit to the apprentices who study with us and yet another accolade for the talented staff of the college.
“I think it was Vince Lombardi who said ‘the only place that success comes before work is in the dictionary’. This national accolade is the result of hard work, partnership and a clear strategic intent.”
He added: “Quality apprenticeship provision provides an excellent progression route for young people, has the potential to enhance a business and impacts positively on the economy. Increasing numbers of young people are seeing an apprenticeship as the door to a great career. Last year more than 700 apprentices joined the college on over 70 different apprenticeship frameworks. This means the college is able to offer companies of all sizes a complete training and apprenticeship solution.”
Mike Blakeley, head of business solutions and enterprise, who manages the apprenticeship provision at the college, said: “An award of this nature not only recognises the college but the outstanding commitment of our local employers and the efforts of all our apprentices. Without the support and dedication of all involved we couldn’t achieve what’s already been recognised. This is the first time an Apprenticeship category has been included and shows the growing status of Apprenticeships for young people and employers alike. As we engage over 1,500 Apprentices across the four counties of the south west, we realise the impact of high quality provision has in the region.”
Exeter College currently has more than 100 vacancies within its employer network in accountancy, business, care and education, construction, engineering, hairdressing, hospitality, logistics, motor vehicle and sport.
The award ceremony took place on Friday, April 22, at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.