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Derwen College is thrilled to have been presented with the Career Development Institute’s award for the best ‘Careers Programme in Post-16 Education’.

The UKCD Awards recognise and celebrate excellence across the career development sector, both in the UK and internationally.

This award recognises the creativity and commitment that is needed to bring career management activities to life, and to inspire young people in post-16 education to think about their future careers.

Careers Programme Award

At Derwen College, we use a person-centred method to support our students to reach their aspirations. As the goal for the majority of the college’s learners is employment, we build careers information and relevant, meaningful work placements into each student’s timetable. Work placements happen weekly, allowing students and employees to gain the most from partnerships and to learn industry-standard work practices.

In its application, the college demonstrated its diligence in forging partnerships with local business, and its dedication to giving students high quality, regular work placements. These work placements allow students the opportunity to gain real knowledge of the routine and expectations of work.

Figures from the college’s 2022–23 leavers show that 63% of Derwen College graduates have gone on to, or are in the process of, starting paid or voluntary employment or further training after college. Across England, less than 5% of adults with a learning disability are in paid work, meaning Derwen College far exceeds the national average.

Careers Leads, Samantha Brown and Jennifer Fawcett-Jones

Derwen College’s Careers Leads, Samantha Brown and Jennifer Fawcett-Jones, travelled to the Museum of Making in Derby for the official awards ceremony on 18 June.

Jennifer Fawcett-Jones, Curriculum Manager, said, “we were very proud to have been one of the short-listed companies represented at the awards. We are especially proud to have won, especially having been short-listed against two strong mainstream career development provisions.”

The Career Development Institute judges commented that, “The [college’s] approach was highly inclusive and underscored by strong ethical principles. Their innovation, particularly in establishing a partnership with an employer and constructing a replica environment, fostered a sense of confidence and preparedness among students.

“The enduring impact was evidenced by students securing employment, highlighting the efficacy of a staged approach in supporting individuals before their immersion in real-life experiences.”

We are incredibly proud of our relationship with employers in local industry, who provide students with the opportunity to experience a real vocational environment.

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