Bath College is celebrating after being named as the best apprenticeship training provider in Bath and Bristol at a glittering awards ceremony.
The college was chosen as Apprenticeship Training Provider of the Year at the Bristol Post and Bath Chronicle Apprenticeship Awards 2016.
Bath College works with over 260 businesses, who employ over 450 apprentices, making it the largest provider of apprenticeships in the Bath and North East Somerset area.
Over the last year, the college’s apprenticeship team has increased its provision, working with over 60 companies to offer apprenticeship programmes in nine new business areas.
Barney Willis, Head of Department for Services to Business, said: “It’s the third time in the last four years that we have won this, which is a fantastic achievement.
“It’s a great reward for all the staff because we put a huge amount of work into the apprenticeship programme and we’re thankful that this has been recognised outside the college, adding credibility to the work we have done.”
Bath College was nominated for Training Provider of the Year alongside South Gloucestershire and Stroud College and Weston College.
Apprentice Kyna Wyatt, from Bath College, was also nominated as a finalist for the Outstanding Service Industries Apprentice of the Year.
Judges choosing the final award winner were looking for evidence of apprenticeship growth, as well as a commitment to building relationships with businesses.
They were interested in how training providers encourage individual apprenticeship development and celebrate the achievement of apprentices.
Mr Willis said: “We focused on how we help the small employers. A lot of organisations tend to move toward to the large employers because of the benefits this brings, but we have 173 small employers on our apprenticeship programme.
“That’s only right because if you look at apprenticeships statistically 85 per cent of apprenticeships are with small employers, it’s clear that without their involvement we wouldn’t get as many apprentices trained in industry.
“That’s probably one of the reasons we won the award. We also focused on how we have increased our apprenticeship provision. Following the merger with Norton Radstock College we have been able to look at different areas and it’s widened our appeal.
“Our strategy this year has been to continue to align our offer to the LEP identified priority sectors so that we’re truly helping those sectors that are experiencing difficulties in recruitment and skills and meeting the needs of those employers.”
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