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While the global pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on FE institutions, BCoT has found itself well-equipped for such a situation, as a result of a strong ethos of putting digital technology at the heart of teaching and learning.
We can be proud of everything we’ve achieved this year including moving all learning and events seamlessly online at the start of lockdown back in March, to continuing to utilise pioneering digital approaches to raise English and maths' standards. This culminated in amazing results for our learners of all ages in the summer GCSEs, with our oldest learner James O’Neil, at 81 years old, achieving a grade 8 in English.
We celebrated our BCoT heroes with many staff and students at BCoT volunteering, or becoming entrepreneurial during the pandemic - from starting their own businesses; to taking up roles on the front line, individuals across the college have been putting their industry skills and knowledge to use and finding ways to support local people and businesses.
We also had to quickly move many of our events online this year using a range of platforms to reach our students, apprentices, parents, schools and employers when they’ve been unable to visit the college or meet face-to-face. We have been pleased with the attendance and are looking forward to our online Apprenticeship Event in February - more details to come in January.
Alongside many other colleges, we saw a drop in apprenticeship enrolments from some sectors as a result of businesses suffering from the effects of lockdown. With the introduction of the apprenticeship bonus in August 2020 we hope this will give vital support to employers and encourage them to take on a new apprentice, and it is likely that the bonus will now be extended to March 2021 to encourage further uptake. In contrast, we have seen a rise in learners signing up for our distance learning courses, which are helping people to gain new skills who may be thinking of career change or needing to up-skill following redundancy or changes to their role.
We continue to innovate with a range of low carbon courses in development at our new EV Training Centre to support future industry needs inline with our sustainability agenda and we are looking forward to supporting our community in 2021.