City of Wolverhampton College is celebrating after being shortlisted for a national award for the way it inspires and prepares young people for the world of work.

The college is in the running for the AoC Beacon Award for Careers Advice and Guidance after impressing judges with its Student Hub.

In the last year the hub has provided advice and guidance to more than 2000 young people, with students able to access financial support, additional learning support and counselling all from one collaborative centre.

Staff focus on matching students with the right career path, and monitor the local labour market to ensure young people are aware of employment opportunities. A new team has also been created to focus on students at risk of dropping out. As a result, over the last two years 42% fewer learners have left the college early within the first six weeks of their programme.

Principal Claire Boliver said: “Coming to college isn’t just about getting a qualification- it’s about young people gaining the skills they will need to move on in their careers and find work in an area that interests them.

“We are very proud of our student hub, and the way in which we listen to each and every student to understand exactly where their ambitions lie and provide the right support they need.

“I’m delighted that all our hard work has been recognised in this way and we look forward to building on our success.”

This is not the first time the college has been shortlisted for these awards. Last year it was honoured with the AoC Award for Outstanding Leadership of Improvement and its Award for College Engagement with Employers. It also received the Leading Light Award for its winning entry in the Engagement with Employers category, for its programme which aims to change the long-term prospects of its local area.

As part of the judging process, assessors will visit the college shortly to examine the college’s application in more detail. The winner will be announced at the AoC Annual Conference later in the year.

The AoC Beacon Awards, launched in 1994, capture and celebrate the best and most innovative practice among UK further education colleges.

About Association of Colleges West Midlands

AoC West Midlands promotes and supports the interests of 38 general further education, sixth form and specialist colleges throughout the West Midlands region. The West Midlands is a diverse region and our colleges reflect this diversity. From small specialist colleges in rural locations to large inner city establishments, colleges reflect the needs of their local environment. Working closely with employers, learners and the local community, our 38 member colleges offer a broad range of flexible learning opportunities for individuals at all levels. They aim to give local people the skills they need for success and prosperity, tackling barriers to learning and providing opportunities that meet the needs of individuals and employers
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