Attracting hundreds of applications from all over the country each year, the Beacon Awards are the most prestigious awards in further education and have been running for 29 years. The Beacon awards celebrate the best and most innovative practice in further education colleges and demonstrate the far-reaching impact of colleges on their students and the communities they serve. The City Guilds Award for College Engagement with Employers winner graphic

The award is in recognition of New College Durham’s proactive approach to employer engagement and the positive impact it is having on the region. NCD has committed to contributing significantly to the region's skill requirements by implementing a strategic and invested approach to stakeholder engagement and collaboration to create a curriculum that meets skill needs and maximizes opportunities for employers and individuals.  

This award supported by City & Guilds recognises exemplary practice in the delivery of provision: responsive to the needs of employers. The winner needed to demonstrate an outstanding ability to work with and provide a direct service to employers, be highly effective in meeting employers’ skills needs and/or apprenticeship requirements. 

Andy Broadbent, Principal and CEO of New College Durham said, “We are absolutely delighted to have won this accolade. It is recognition of the huge amount of effort our team at NCD and our employer partners put into creating a relevant and skills led curriculum that will shape the North East’s workforce both now and in the future. It is also extremely rewarding to have this celebration as part of Colleges Week 2024, where we all come together to celebrate our FE colleges across the country.” 

Mark White, Chair of AoC’s Charitable Trust said: “The AoC Beacon Awards showcase exactly why colleges are so important to every community and why people value them. This award recognises examples of excellent practical teaching and learning. The work of the winning college shows how important colleges are in providing students with the necessary skills for the real world.” 

The winners of this year’s Beacon Awards were announced on Tuesday 27 February during Colleges Week. Colleges Week is an annual celebration of the incredible work colleges are doing across the country, and this year it is taking place between 26 February and 1 March. This year, the theme is influencing, engaging and celebrating, with a look ahead to the upcoming mayoral and general elections.