Weston College has won the prestigious Employer of the Year accolade at the Lloyds National Business Awards sponsored by Give a Grad a Go. The college delivers further and higher education courses plus training for employers. It is also a lead prison education provider for 19 prisons in the South of England.
The Lloyds Bank National Business Awards is the flagship awards programme that recognises and rewards excellence across all sectors in the UK. Now in its 18th year, the awards are open to any company within the UK, regardless of size or industry.
Dr Paul Phillips CBE, Principal and Chief Executive of Weston College, said: “To be recognised as the best employer in the UK is hugely rewarding and testament to the emphasis we place on putting our staff at the heart of the business.
“Employee engagement and investment are among our highest priorities. This award reflects those priorities, as well as the commitment and dedication our people give us in return.
“We will continue to work hard to support our employees both personally and professionally. I should emphasise the point that our win was based on a totally inclusive approach to the bid and pitch – where we talked about core business as well as staffing in apprenticeships, traineeships, prison education and in our subsidiary companies too. All colleagues’ right across our college group played a part in this win.”
The award event was held at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London, on 12 November and was the culmination of the year-long programme, which was attended by 1,200 business leaders, entrepreneurs, politicians and journalists in true celebration of the best of British entrepreneurship.
One of the judges, Cary Curtis, Founder and Managing Director from Give a Grad a Go, said: “This award was a landslide victory; Weston College demonstrated the very best of what an employer should be.
“The College showed an investment in both infrastructure to create state-of-the-art teaching spaces/digital learning environments, enabling staff to feel inspired to make a difference to their learners. Their investment in ethos was also key; offering a staff mentoring programme which encourages collaboration and developing peer to peer inclusive support. Plus a ‘Body and Mind’ framework, recognising that staff need support to build emotional resilience to meet the increasing demands of the FE environment and 21st century life.”
The judges also highlighted Weston College’s graduate scheme which runs throughout the year offering several intakes as opposed to competitors who offer just one recruit within the year. With high quality guidance and care trainee lecturer’s move across a variety of disciplines to learn on the job and move towards their Level 5 teaching qualification.
Andrew Leighton-Price, Chair of Governors at Weston College, added: “The key to the College’s success has been the inspirational leadership from Dr Paul Phillips CBE, which has created an ethos where every member of staff is highly valued, combined with dynamic financial planning, which has given the College the sustainability to invest in its staff and to create world class facilities to upskill its region for economic growth.”