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HullBID Awards Recognise Hull College’s Outstanding Contribution’ to the City of Hull

Hull College’s (@hullcollegegrp) ‘Outstanding Contribution’ to the city of Hull has been recognised at the annual HullBID Awards, celebrating the educational institution’s remarkable impact on the local community.

More than 320 guests attended the glittering awards ceremony at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel last Friday (23rd February) to celebrate the very best of Hull city centre businesses and organisations. Eleven prestigious awards were handed out in a range of categories from Customer Service Excellence and Best Place to Work, to Commitment to Health & Wellbeing, and Best in Food & Drink.

The independent judging panel selected Hull College as the winner of the Outstanding Contribution Award, which saw it beat off competition from The Deep and Ferens Art Gallery to secure the accolade. The award caps off what has been a hugely positive few months for the college having earned a ‘Good’ with features of ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted grading late last year – its best result since 2008 – and being rated ‘Strong’ for its contribution to meeting regional and national skills needs.

Debra Gray MBE, Principal & CEO of Hull College, accepted the award on behalf of the college at the HullBID Awards. Reflecting on the achievement, Gray expressed her heartfelt gratitude and emphasised the college’s mission to empower individuals and drive positive change within the community.

She said: “We were delighted to be shortlisted for the Outstanding Contribution Award and immensely proud to be named the overall winner. To be recognised for the work, dedication, and commitment that our college continues to demonstrate for the good of our community, our students, and our employer partners is extremely rewarding.

“Whether it’s our work with school leavers to support and prepare them for their future careers, helping adults retrain or find new careers or employment opportunities, or our successful ESOL provision helping people to readjust to life in a new country – everything we do is focused on our commitment to the city of Hull and its people.

“We are on a mission to make sure Hull as a city, and the wider Humber region, are not just well served by their college, but exceptionally well served. It’s about elevating every single function of the college to be absolutely the best it can be, as well as building a culture of excellence for our students to thrive in.”

Hull College’s exemplary performance in various areas proved to be instrumental in clinching this prestigious award. The college has demonstrated exceptional dedication to community engagement, evidenced by the successful integration of a new work experience programme into its curriculum. Through meaningful initiatives, students at the college have contributed to over 8,000 hours of community work, significantly enriching the city of Hull and helping its students to develop key employability skills in the process.

Moreover, the Adult Education Employability and Growth Team at the college has made significant strides over the past 12 months. Working with over 2,000 learners, the team has successfully delivered more than 3,600 qualifications with an impressive 94% of learners achieving their desired qualifications. Notably, the team’s efforts also saw the department secure an impressive ‘Outstanding’ grading from Ofsted, transforming lives and earning praise from learners and employers alike.

The college, which serves as the largest Further Education college in a proud ‘City of Sanctuary’, also faced the critical challenge of integrating large numbers of refugees and asylum seekers into its English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programme.

Through an innovative partnership with UFI VocTech and use of translation technology, the college has overcome language barriers and created a more inclusive learning environment. The innovative use of technology has ushered in a new era of excellence in teaching, learning, and assessment, with the outcomes speaking volumes. ESOL attendance has surged from 65% to an impressive 91.5%, while achievement rates have soared from 77% to 90%. Further key outputs from the initiative include remarkable improvements in employment rates and learner satisfaction, with 92% of students reporting their course helped them socialise, work, and communicate with others.

Now in its milestone tenth year, the HullBID Awards stand as a beacon of recognition, honouring businesses for their enduring resilience, innovation, and contribution to making Hull city centre a vibrant and thriving destination for residents, workers, and visitors alike.

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