Preston College becomes finalist in AoC Beacon Awards

Preston College becomes finalist in this year’s prestigious AoC Beacon Awards for Engagement with Employers.

Preston College has been recognised for its exceptional work with employers and become the only Lancashire-based College to be announced as a finalist in this year’s AoC Beacon Awards.

In 2015, Preston College initiated the ‘Central Lancashire Construction Skills Hub’. Since then, the College has engaged a group of partners including local authorities, the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and other local training providers in working collaboratively to ensure that construction provision across Lancashire is developed to meet identified skills shortages.

Seven years on and the Central Lancashire Construction Skills Hub continues to have significant impact. The construction provision at Preston College has grown significantly and has diversified, becoming the largest technical curriculum area across our college-based and apprenticeship provision.

Simon Nixon, Interim Principal and Chief Executive says: “We are thrilled that Preston College has been announced as a finalist in this year’s awards. The work, dedication and the commitment that our college-wide team continue to demonstrate for the good of our community, our learners and for our partner employers is exemplary.

“The construction provision and the number of learners at the College has grown exponentially over the years, whilst the range and breadth of employer and other partners with whom we work is extensive. Our newly refurbished Construction Skills Centre is in phase two of completion and we are excited to see what the future holds for this provision and the impact it will have on our local economy.”

The Association of Colleges’ Beacon Awards celebrate the best and most innovative practice among UK colleges each year. The award, supported by the City & Guilds, seeks to recognise examples of colleges who are responsive to the needs of employers and their region, demonstrate a whole college approach and who demonstrate systematic networking and collaboration with other organisations.

Mark White OBE DL, Chair of AoC’s Charitable Trust says: “The AoC Beacon Awards showcase exactly why colleges are so important to every community and why people value them. This award recognises a whole college approach to meeting the training, development and recruitment needs of many employers. The work of the finalist colleges and their engagement with employers show how vital they are to helping the economy develop skills for growth.”

Mark Taylor, Head of School for Construction says: “The School of Construction at Preston College and the team that leads this department have built extensive partnerships with business to make a real impact in the community and to ensure that our learners receive the very best in their technical learning experience. To have been announced as a finalist in recognition of our impact is fantastic news. Our aim now is to continue to support learners to develop the skills needed to address the local skills gap and create a workforce ready to meet the economic needs of the wider region.”

Earlier this year, Preston College were delighted to announce that two of our learners, Didar and Ganesh were both shortlisted and commended for ‘Student of the Year’ in their provision categories. Although both learners were not shortlisted as finalists, we would like to extend our congratulations to them both once again. They both demonstrated incredible determination and overcome their own personal barriers to get to where they are today. The College is very proud of their achievements. 

Simon Nixon adds: “It goes without saying that everyone who has made the commended list and now the finals, deserves a huge well done – we should all be extremely proud of what we have achieved.  We now look forward to the next steps of this process, with the Award Winners to be announced in spring 2023.”


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