Gateshead College is celebrating further national recognition after winning an award at the ‘Oscars’ for the Further Education sector in the country.

The Tyneside college, already the top performing college within the sector across the North East, won the Careers and Enterprise Company Award at the Association of Colleges (AoC) annual Beacon Awards held in London last night (Wed Nov 16).

The AoC Beacon Awards, launched in 1994, capture and celebrate the best and most innovative of practice among UK further education colleges. This year’s winners were announced by Baroness Sharp at the AoC annual conference and exhibition.

Judith Doyle, principal and chief executive of Gateshead College, said: “I’m extremely proud that we’ve been recognised nationally for all of the hard work that goes into helping young people to have the best start to a rewarding career.

“As well as making sure students are work-ready and equipped with the skills employers need, Gateshead College is dedicated to giving young people access to careers advice that inspires them to make decisions that are right for them; that will help them realise their careers ambitions and be the best they can be.

“Seeing our students succeed at what they want to do, whether that be moving into employment, taking up an apprenticeship or securing a place at university, is the most rewarding part of the job. To also be acknowledged with such a prestigious award for our work to do that is the icing on the cake.”

“The AoC Beacon Awards are recognition of our approach at Gateshead College, to work closely with the business community and other key stakeholders to ensure we provide young, motivated people that are ready to progress and ultimately go into employment.”

Gateshead College, graded ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted in 2015, is currently the number one college in the North East and was named sixth in the UK based on the success of its students.

Effective partnerships with local schools, universities and employers has supported the college’s delivery of careers information, advice and guidance to 42 secondary schools, 2 primary schools as well as 13 community events.

During 2016, statistics showed that 95% of students had a positive destination, progressing to either further or higher education, starting an apprenticeship or securing a job.

Claudia Harris, Chief Executive of the Careers & Enterprise Company, said: “We are delighted to be collaborating with the Association of Colleges for this year’s AoC Beacon Awards. The Careers Advice and Guidance Award recognises colleges who are leading the

way in building effective relationships with employers while providing excellent careers advice and guidance.

“The Careers & Enterprise Company aims to inspire and prepare young people for the fast-changing world of work by supporting programmes that work, filling gaps in provision and ensuring coverage across the country. For this to happen there needs to be strong partnerships between education and business and support for young people to make informed choices over their future careers.”

Dame Pat Bacon, Chair of the AoC Beacon Awards, said: “Gateshead College is an outstanding representative of the excellent work happening in colleges across the country. It’s a privilege to be part of an awards programme that recognises the energy colleges put into supporting their students, staff, employers and local communities.”


Gateshead College received a Beacon Award for:

Careers and Enterprise Company Award for Careers and Guidance

A programme led by the college that created a partnership between employers, schools, training providers and universities to provide impartial careers advice and guidance to 14-18 year olds. Various communications and events provided young people and parents with genuine, impartial advice on career choices.