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careers and enterprise awardBeacon Finalist: West Suffolk College - The Careers and Enterprise Company Award for Innovation in Careers and Enterprise

West Suffolk College have made it to the finals of the AoC Beacon Careers and Enterprise Company Award for Innovation in Careers and Enterprise.

The Association of Colleges’ Beacon Awards celebrate the best and most innovative practice among UK colleges each year. This award, supported by The Careers and Enterprise Company, celebrates outstanding example of careers education and guidance. In a world where enterprise, education and work opportunities are constantly changing, students need easy access to high quality support and information. 

Led by Head of Admissions Angela Wright, the West Suffolk College careers team have worked on an initiative badged ‘Embedding a sustainable careers programme in the new normal.’ Angela said: “It is important to recognise that although this pandemic has presented significant challenges to our students, it has also been a catalyst for embracing new ways of utilising technology to provide a sustainable Careers Programme for all.”

Students of all background and abilities benefit from this initiative which has been adapted to suit the individual needs of the students using the service. This has included the college’s current cohort of students as well as supporting pupils who are transitioning from school.

The team developed a range of digital resources to ensure no one was disadvantaged by either not attending the college in person or the team being unable to deliver sessions within the school environment. These include but are not limited to: Online and independent resources for all post-16 options, an overview of the SEND pathways available after year 11, pre-recorded presentations detailing the colleges offering and a range of year 11 toolkits including videos from employers.

David Hughes, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges said: “These colleges have shown great innovation in highly effective engagement with schools, employers and other agencies, to provide learners with excellent impartial careers education, advice and guidance. Enabling learners to make informed choices about their progression to further study and training, including apprenticeships will have a lasting effect on the rest of their lives.” 

The AoC Beacon Awards finalists were announced at the AoC FE Summit on Tuesday 17 November. Winners will be announced in spring 2021.