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National recognition for careers and enterprise innovation

Eastleigh College has been commended by the Association of Colleges for the careers and progression support it provides to learners by being shortlisted for this year’s Beacon Awards.

The college’s career and work readiness team has a proven history of successfully guiding and championing learners ensuring they are fully aware of the opportunities available to them. The college provides guidance for university and apprenticeship applications, but crucially also sows seeds regarding career options that may not have otherwise considered.

Eastleigh College’s Vice Principal, Commercial & Customer Services, Darren Coventry, said: “The careers team goes above and beyond providing a host of workshops, talks and careers events, as well as dedicated one-to-one support for learners. As well as being experienced and extremely knowledgeable, their advice is impartial and always in the best interest of the learner.”

The college’s Careers Lead, Trudy McKenzie, believes it is the ‘whole college’ approach that benefits learners the most. She explains: “Some learners know exactly what they want to do, while others may have no idea or have their plans thwarted – sadly something that has been unavoidable for some during the Covid pandemic. 

“At Eastleigh College, the careers team works in tandem with lecturers, learning mentors, the apprenticeships team and a whole host of external parties to ensure every learner is supported.”

Eastleigh College is the only FE college in the county to have gained the Quality in Careers Standard, and has a dedicated SUN (Southern Universities Network) Progression Mentor raising students’ aspirations.

Trudy, who recently presented at Solent LEP’s recent Careers and Enterprise Summit, added: “In addition we utilise our brilliant employer contacts to provide bespoke sessions for particular industry areas such as arranging a pathways webinar with Hampshire Constabulary for Uniform Public Services learners, and NHS-led careers talks for learners who want to work in nursing, health or social care.”

The Association of Colleges’ Beacon Awards celebrate the best and most innovative practice among UK colleges each year. They highlight the breadth and quality of education in the college sector, and are awarded every year by AoC to provide recognition for excellence and innovation, acknowledging the talents of staff at all levels.