The Beacon Awards are one of further education’s premier awards. They celebrate the best and most innovative practice in colleges and the impact they have on the students and communities that they serve.
WestKing is one of just three colleges in the running for The Careers and Enterprise Company Award for Innovation in Careers and Enterprise.
The Careers and Enterprise Company is the national body for careers education in England and set the criteria for the award, which recognises outstanding careers leadership and practice.
Colleges were asked to give examples of effective careers programmes that demonstrate partnerships with schools, employers and other education providers, to help students make informed choices about their future education and careers.
WestKing’s Careers, Employability and Work Placements Teams were boosted by funding from The Careers and Enterprise Company’s Personal Guidance Fund in 2018, which has enabled the college to provide training for staff to ensure quality information, advice and guidance and to better align to industry needs.
Over the past 12 months WestKing has invested in new programmes and partnerships to support its students and the community. The college has developed strategies to drive high-level skills, mentoring and student progression to meet the needs of Londoners and London’s employers, as the capital recovers from the COVID pandemic. Highlights include:
• A partnership with the Creative Careers programme at the Roundhouse in Camden to help students with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) to get into the industry.
• A Nursing Insights Programme run with Great Ormond Street Hospital that has been embedded within the college’s Health and Social Care courses.
• Careers Clusters and Enterprise Adviser Network activities, such as virtual Skillz Up workshops and Insight sessions.
• Better communication with parents through an e-newsletter, virtual events and additional information, advice and guidance.
Carlo Liu, Head of Careers Education and Partnerships, said “We are thrilled to be commended this year for the AoC Beacon Awards. A huge congratulations to all at WestKing with special mention to the Careers, Employability and Work Placements Teams.
“Due to an unprecedented interruption in education coupled with the impact of COVID on the job market, young people are facing so many challenges. Here at WestKing, our focus has been improving the social capital of our learners, by boosting their confidence, helping to widen their career aspirations and their knowledge of the labour market, and by showing them the opportunities open to them.”
Jasbir Sondhi, Vice Principal of Westminster Kingsway College said: “I’d like to especially congratulate Carlo, Mike, Sharon, Dorota and Frankie in the WestKing Careers and Employability team. The team have been instrumental in providing our learners with a plethora of opportunities that raise aspirations and broaden their horizons.
“Each member of the team is committed to ensuring our learners are given access to employers, networks and careers guidance that informs their decision making allowing them to progress on to positive destinations.
“Well done and thank you for the work you do to transform lives.”
The finalists of the Beacon Awards will be announced at the Association of Colleges’ annual conference on 17 November.