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TES FE Awards

The Edge Foundation is proud to sponsor the TES FE Award for Employer Engagement. This award recognises strategic and innovative approaches to delivering employers’ workforce development needs.

In 2017 South Devon College won the award.

South Devon College has a long and successful track record of developing curricula in partnership with local employers. In South Devon and Torbay, there is a growing high-tech sector, with a cluster of businesses employing more than 1,000 people. The college has worked to tailor apprenticeships and higher education provision to ensure learners leave with the skills to meet the needs of this industry.

In a strategic attempt to align the college’s offer with local industry, South Devon College has introduced a high-tech and digital department, which concentrates on working with and supporting local businesses at all levels.

The college’s submission says that it now provides “a pipeline of high-quality students ready to enter employment”, and it is also an active member of the Torbay Development Agency, an employer-based forum that meets regularly to discuss technical advancements, economic updates and business opportunities. South Devon College’s high-tech and digital department is seen as a hub of innovation, supporting businesses with a host of new ideas and developments.

The judging panel was impressed by the college’s work to meet the needs of local industry. They judges also praised the fact that the college worked proactively with a large number of small and medium-sized enterprises, rather than relying on one or two large contracts, saying: “They are trying to drive systematic employer engagement from the college out.”

The TES FE Awards recognise and reward the achievements of the wide range of providers working in learning and skills. Hundreds of FE providers submitted entries for the 14 categories, which recognise achievement in employer engagement, innovation in teaching, leadership and entrepreneurship.