For excellence in the practical delivery of technical and professional learning’, Wiltshire College & University Centre has won a coveted Association of Colleges national Beacon Award.

At a ceremony in Grosvenor House, London, on March 22, the college received the Edge Award, recognising the practical experience gained at its 1,600-acre Lackham campus.

About 96% of learners on courses linked to the farm at Lackham move into employment after their studies.

Amanda Burnside, College Principal, said: “Our farm operates as a totally commercial enterprise and therefore students gain tested technical and management skills making them fully work ready.

Students undertake farm work throughout their studies – dairy duties, harvesting, maize silaging, ploughing and hay-making for the farm using the college’s own machinery, which includes state of-the-art GPS-automated tractors.

The award judges were impressed with the way students are encouraged to engage with employers and the community. An example of this is the lambing weekends, when students help to lamb more than 1,000 ewes, while explaining the process to 10,000 visitors.

The AoC Beacon Awards, now in its 24th year, capture and celebrate the best and most innovative practice among UK further education colleges.

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