(l-r) CAVCA Work Based Learning Quality and Data Team Leader Maureen Bielski, CAVC Dean of Quality Improvement Michell Hiller Forster, Pearson Marketing Director for Apprenticeships Claire Riddle, CAVC Dean of Work Based Learning Andy Whitcombe, Jon Culshaw, CAVC Deputy Principal Kay Martin, CAVC Director of Information Services and IT Evan Davies

Beacon Award for CAVC

21 November 2016

Cardiff and Vale College wins prestigious Beacon Award for its sector leading delivery of apprenticeships

Cardiff and Vale College has won a prestigious national award for the innovative and sector leading way it delivers its apprenticeship provision.

The College has also been shortlisted for a distinguished Times Education Supplement (TES) Award.

CAVC beat off competition from the rest of the UK’s Further Education (FE) institutions to win the Association of Colleges Beacon Award for Promotion and Delivery of Apprenticeships, sponsored by Pearson.

The Beacon Awards celebrate the best and most innovative practice among UK FE colleges. They reward colleges that go above and beyond in providing high quality technical and professional education. Award winners must also offer something exceptional to students and the wider community.

Cardiff and Vale College is the leading apprenticeship provider in the Capital Region, leading the Quality Skills Alliance, a unique consortium of 22 training providers working to deliver excellence in apprenticeships.

Engaging with more than 1,000 employers in the public and private sectors from small local firms to global business, the Quality Skills Alliance, led by CAVC, offers 40 work based learning career routes across all Welsh Government priority areas to nearly 2,000 apprentices each year.

Industry sectors covered include automotive, business management, administration and financial services, sport, building services, hair and beauty, and creative media among many others. Success rates are above national comparators, with 90% of Level 2 apprentices across all sectors achieving their complete apprenticeship and 86% of Level 3 apprentices achieving theirs.

This academic year also saw the region’s other largest training provider, ACT, join the CAVC family, making the Cardiff and Vale College Group the largest in Wales and in the UK’s top five with a £75m turnover and more than 30,000 learner enrolments annually.

Mike James, Principal and Chief Executive of Cardiff and Vale College, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have won the Beacon Award for Promotion and Delivery of Apprenticeships. It is testament to the hard work and determination shown by our apprenticeships team, subcontractors and staff right across the College and I am hugely proud of their achievement.

“We believe in apprenticeships and the impact that skills can have on businesses and individuals as well as the growth of the economy, which is why we work with thousands of apprentices and businesses each year. Apprenticeships are beneficial for everyone; the apprentice gains skills while learning in the workplace, the employer gains someone who can add instant value to that business and that boosts the wider economy.

“We will continue to work with employers across all priority areas, especially those that may not have traditionally engaged with apprenticeships, to prove to them what a real difference work based learning can make.”

Stephen Grix, Interim Senior Vice President for BTEC and Apprenticeships at Pearson, said: “Pearson believes that having access to a range of high quality apprenticeships is vital to give learners great opportunities and to ensure that our country has the skills it needs to thrive. Key to high quality apprenticeships is a great partnership between educators, employers and learners.

“That is why we are proud to sponsor this award, and proud to acknowledge Cardiff and Vale College as this year’s winner. They have set an example of how to work in partnership with a range of providers to ensure that their apprentices have access to the best quality training and support.”

Dame Pat Bacon, Chair of the AoC Beacon Awards, said: “Cardiff and Vale College is an outstanding representative of the excellent work happening in colleges across the country. It’s a privilege to be part of an awards programme that recognises the energy colleges put into supporting their students, staff, employers and local communities.”

Mike Davis, Chief Assessor for the AoC Beacon Awards, said: “The high standard of submissions to the AoC Beacon Awards often makes it very hard for the judges to choose the winners. Cardiff and Vale College can be proud to receive this award for demonstrating its commitment to create the best possible experience for its students.”

The college was announced as a winner by comedian Jon Culshaw at the Association of Colleges Annual Conference and Exhibition in Birmingham.

Meanwhile, the College is on the shortlist for the eminent TES Further Education Awards in the FE College of the Year category. Now in their sixth year, the awards recognise very best in FE and celebrate the dedication of leading colleges, providers, teams and individual staff to their learners.

CAVC is one of just two Welsh colleges on the shortlist for the awards which will be held in London on 24th February.