We were delighted to receive the news yesterday that we have been selected as a finalist in the ‘Sustainability Award’ of the 2019 Cherwell Business Awards, sponsored by A2 Dominion. This is the first year we have entered since we won both the ‘Charity and Community’ and ‘Overall Business of the Year’ awards in 2014, so we are very excited.

Our MD Adam Marsh: “We are delighted to be selected as a finalist in this category. We purposely chose to enter this award as we believe every business and every employee has a responsibility for greener and more sustainable working practices. It is particularly necessary in the construction industry and we feel as a training company that we should set an example for our employers and apprentices in how we operate and how we train, and in turn make sure our students are taking those values and habits into the workplace.”

We were delighted last week to host both Layla Moran MP for Abingdon and Oxford West, and Sarah Marlow, Skills Policy Executive at Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, to mark the closing of National Apprenticeship Week and National Careers Week. It was a great opportunity to let them know about everything that’s been happening at ACE lately including our recent Ofsted inspection, French exchange visit, schools work and upcoming Open Evening for Year 11s.

We were delighted that Layla was able to present our Learner of the Month certificates to Jed and George, and our tutor Ian was able to put both out visitors through their paces in his immaculate brick workshop. We appreciate the continued support both of Layla and OxLEP and look forward to welcoming them back to ACE in the future. Pics from the visit are here.

We’ve had a lot of interest in the Open Morning again this month, but a reminder for those who might to have seen/heard about it yet. It’s this Saturday 1000-1200 at our training centre in Kidlington.

Come and talk to us about our training programmes and find out about our flexible start dates. Also ask us about:

* Our full Open Evening next Wednesday 20th March
* Year 11 Taster Day on 17th April
* Our Summer Programme for school leavers
* Training and apprenticeship opportunities with immediate starts!

We are proud of the training and support we give to students, employers and of the positive relationships we have with the professional support organisations we work with. We are rated ‘Good’ in all areas of our provision by Ofsted following an inspection in January 2019, and are looking for motivated, driven individuals to help us maintain those high standards, in the following roles:

– Administration Officer (£16-20k)
– Bench Joinery & Carpentry Tutor (£28k)
– Pre-Apprenticeship Training Co-ordinator (£24-£28k)

For more information on these roles and to organise an informal chat, please email us [email protected] with contact details and we will be happy to get in touch with you.
Closing date for applications is 1st April 2019.

We were privileged last week to be visited by 7 construction apprentices from ‘CFA-MFR Saint Gilles Croix De Vie’, an Apprentice Training Centre in western France. We were identified by them as an training school similar to theirs and they were interested to meet with English apprentices and visit Oxford and learn how we train in this county. This was part of a week long visit to England funded by ERASMUS, to encourage students to work towards a longer placement in the future.

We thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and it was a pleasure to meet the apprentices and learn how apprenticeships are really being promoted in France. We love this group picture taken with Danny and Ian in the brick workshop along with Roseline, the teacher from the visiting school.

We are kicking off National Apprenticeship Week and National Careers Week in great spirits after being judged ‘good’ across all categories by Ofsted following an inspection in January 2019. All our training programmes were inspected, including ‘16 to 19 Study programmes’ for school leavers and those not in employment, education or training, apprenticeship training across five trade occupations and a small number of school students aged under 16 who attend as part of a flexible curriculum partnership between us and their school.

Inspectors were particularly impressed with how “almost all study programme learners move on to apprenticeships, further education or employment after their training” and how the “beneficial training that apprentices receive allows them to develop highly relevant work- related skills.”

Our Managing Director Adam Marsh said: “We welcome the findings of the inspection and are delighted that it recognises and endorses the work we do both inside the college, but also outside in building productive relationships with schools, employers and local organisations. It is a credit to the teaching and leadership team, and the students themselves, that the report recognises ACE learners as being ‘respectful, polite and keen to learn’ and that they develop valuable social and communication skills as well as practical skills which make them employable and effective in the workplace”.

We’re looking forward to our next Saturday Open Morning on the 16th March and our Year 11 Taster Day Taster Day for prospective students on 17th April. We are also holding an Open Evening for Year 11 students on 20th March 2019. Information on this and other events can be found here.

A full copy of the Ofsted report can be found here.