THE group which owns two county colleges has won a prestigious award.

WCG, which runs Pershore College and also ran Malvern Hills College until last year, was given the Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for its work teaching engineering.

Chief executive Angela Joyce represented the group at the prize reception, held at St James' Palace this month.

The college has been training students for decades, being one of the first institutions to move towards employer-centred education, which has since been widely adopted by colleges across the country.

It has grown its engineering apprentice numbers from 40 in 1996 to 1,195 in 2021 and has placed a focus on working directly with employers to ensure its teaching matches the needs of businesses.

This has included creating bespoke training programmes for major companies including Jaguar Land Rover, AGCO, Royal Mail, Babcock, Alstom, Siemens and Telent.

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.”

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