WCG has been awarded The Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in recognition of its work in the engineering sector.
The prestigious award recognises WCG – formerly Warwickshire College Group – for how it has developed future engineers through innovation and partnership over the last quarter of a century.
WCG delivers engineering courses at three of its colleges Warwick Trident College, Rugby College and Evesham College.
The college has established itself as a leading provider of engineering apprenticeships in the Midlands and across the UK. It was a pioneer of employer-centric educational provision, which is now being widely adopted by other institutions under the government’s new skills strategy.
It has grown its engineering apprentice numbers from 40 in 1996 to nearly 1,200 in 2021 and has placed a focus on working directly with employers to ensure its provision matches the ever-changing needs of industry.
This has included creating bespoke training programmes for major companies including Jaguar Land Rover, AGCO, Royal Mail, Babcock, Alstom, Siemens and Telent.
It is now in a position to build on the success of its engineering full-time courses and apprenticeships and further its position in the Higher Education sector after becoming the first college group in the UK to gain Bachelor Degree Awarding Powers.
The Queen’s Anniversary Prize also recognised that 95 per cent of full-time students at the college successfully made it to their first-choice destination after leaving and in 2020, the college broke national records for end-point assessment pass rates for its land-based engineering apprentices.
Angela Joyce, CEO of WCG, said: “This is a very proud moment for all of us here at the college group and is the culmination of more than 25 years of tireless work to establish WCG as a leader in the delivery of engineering training.
“We put employers at the forefront of all of our training and this pioneering approach to employer-led education is what has been the driving force behind us receiving this award.
“The college group has been a trailblazer in engineering apprenticeships for many years and we believe these foundations have put us in the perfect position to develop the skilled individuals required to support the government’s skills strategy and the future economy, not just in engineering but in all industry sectors.
“I would like to thank all the staff, governors, students and employers who have supported the development of our engineering training provision over the last 25 years.
“We have ambitious plans to continue to innovate in the delivering of engineering training and will be continuing to work with local, regional and national employers to ensure that students are ready to contribute to the economy immediately after leaving us.”