AoC has been recognised for its work in creating a more inclusive culture with a national award.
The National Centre for Diversity (NCfD) has included AoC in its Top 100 Most Inclusive Workplaces Index 2022.
The accolade recognises organisations which have developed their policies and practises to promote fairness, respect, equality, diversity, inclusion and engagement (FREDIE) in the workplace.
AoC has previously been awarded both the Investors in Diversity Award and the Leaders in Diversity Award from NCfD, both of which are highly prized and prestigious quality marks.
David Hughes, AoC chief executive, said:
“I’m delighted that AoC has been recognised, because equity, diversity and inclusion are central to us and our work. In the tightest labour market on record, every employer needs to diversify who they recruit, where they look, how they identify and develop talent, how they package jobs to make them more accessible as well as develop an inclusive workplace culture.
“Colleges work hard to create inclusive environments so students can be themselves and thrive. They appreciate the role equality, diversity and inclusion should play in the world of work today and engender in their students a spirit to make the world a fairer place.
“We need leaders across society to commit to change and speak out more to make it easier for others to speak up, to show that a fairer, more equal, inclusive society is about everyone and should be the ambition for us all. Organisations like NCfD are doing brilliant work to bring all of us together into a community of change, across sectors, at senior levels, inclusively.”
Jeff Greenidge, AoC director for diversity, said:
“AoC is going through a journey to make the most of our diverse talents and build a more inclusive culture. There is always more to do, and we are continuously improving. We have already made important strides as this award demonstrates.
“AoC has an important role to support colleges with their own work – sharing good practice, supporting those who are nervous, applauding those who are making progress and celebrating successes. We need to support our current leaders and develop our future diverse leadership.
“We also need to bring others with us on this path, be that government, agencies, sector bodies, the wider education sector. We continue to use our leadership role to build more focus on equity for all in post-16 education and training.”
Solat Chaudhry, NCfD chief executive said:
“I send my warmest congratulations to Association of Colleges on successfully reaching the Top 100 Most Inclusive Workplaces Index 2022. It’s been a challenging year and yet, it has not dented the excellent work that organisations and individuals do in promoting FREDIE best practice.
“I am particularly proud that we celebrate excellent work across all sectors as these organisations are the future of the workplace in the UK. We celebrate the exceptional work of people and organisations who have EDI running through their DNA. Let’s rejoice at this and build a better society.”