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The success of the AoC Beacon Award for Walsall College – FE News

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Richard Brennan Jackie Bradnick, Leanne Houghton and David Hughes

Walsall College students and staff celebrate winning the Beacon Award of the College Association. The College received the prestigious The Edge Award for outstanding achievements in real-world learning.

The award recognizes the college’s successful conduct of a virtual week of work experience in the midst of the Covid pandemic.

During the 36-hour week, about 2,000 students worked independently on the employer’s project, with opportunities built into their schedule to help the employer check progress and provide feedback. The projects were completed together with an individual program of negotiations, demonstrations, field trips, career guidance, negotiations and LinkedIn training courses related to their field of study.

157 industry specialists from more than 90 enterprises were involved. These include the Midland Metro Alliance, the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Balfour Beatty VINCI, the Black Country Chamber of Commerce and HSBC.

Jatinder Sharma OBE DL, Director and CEO, said: “This is an award that celebrates how the world of work is embedded in our curriculum.

“We are grateful to our many employer partners who are so passionate about supporting the next generation of talent. They, as well as our students and staff, are also to be congratulated for adopting innovative thinking and using digital technology to

make sure that future work teams do not miss the meeting with industry experts and professional development opportunities ”.

He continued: “We are already drawing on the interaction of employers and students as a result of this initiative, and we are confident that our education will continue

be proactive, helping to meet industry needs and qualification priorities for the growth and prosperity of our region ”.

The Beacon Awards Association of Colleges each year celebrates the best and most innovative practices among UK colleges. The award, supported by the Edge Foundation, aims to recognize examples of practical teaching and learning that give people the skills required by today’s global and digital economy. This is done through a broad and balanced curriculum, high quality teaching, attracting real learning and a rich relationship between education and employers.

Mark White, chairman of the AoC Charitable Foundation, said: “The AoC Beacon Awards clearly demonstrates why colleges are so important to every community and why people value them. This award recognizes examples of excellent practical teaching and learning. Work in

the winning college shows how important colleges are in providing students with the necessary skills for the real world. ”

Alice Barnard, CEO of the Edge Foundation, said: “Edge is an honorary sponsor of the Award for Outstanding Achievement in Real-World Learning. Our award recognizes colleges that have developed high-quality practical approaches to teaching and learning that give students a real, meaningful, challenging, stretching and life-changing experience. Congratulations to this year’s finalists. “

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