ZSL Whipsnade Zoo recognised in national awards

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo has been recognised for its work in helping young people to prepare for the world of work in the 2019 Careers Excellence Awards.

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo and The Avenue Centre for Education (ACE) were named the ‘Partnership of the Year’ being celebrated for their work providing students with meaningful employer encounters.

Careers Excellence Awards - ZSL Whipsnade Zoo and ACE

Careers Excellence Awards - ZSL Whipsnade Zoo and ACE

The Careers and Enterprise Company Annual Careers Excellence Awards recognise and celebrate the inspirational work done by schools, colleges, employers, volunteers and careers professionals around England.

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo and the Avenue Centre for Education were recognised for developing a programme that improves student’s self-confidence, teamwork skills, resilience and engagement through a combination of theory-based and practical learning about the Zoo.

Claudia Harris, Chief Executive of the Careers and Enterprise Company, said: “The organisations and individuals recognised are setting the bar in careers provision across England and changing the lives of the children they work with.

“We are delighted to be able to celebrate their work and look forward to seeing their continued impact in the years ahead.”

There was also success at the awards for Bedford Academy, it was named ‘School of the Year’ being celebrated for their hard work in embedding careers within the curriculum.

To win School of the Year, Bedford Academy worked tirelessly to meet all eight Gatsby Benchmarks thoroughly embedding careers into every aspect of the curriculum.

These benchmarks provide a framework of eight guidelines setting out what makes the best careers provision in schools and colleges, with employer engagement and individually tailored support as central to the service.

Chris Deller, Head Teacher at Bedford Academy, said: “We are delighted to win this fantastic award recognising the importance the school places on careers education for all of its students.

“The commitment to continually improve and enhance our careers offer has been a constant challenge for Miss Green and Mr Dawe who do a fantastic job, both at Bedford Academy and in our wider local community. We are excited about the future and hope to support other schools to enhance their careers offer for their own students.”

SEMLEP and The Careers and Enterprise Company continue to strengthen links between education and employer, they work together to deliver local programmers to inspire and prepare young people for the fast-changing world of work.

Paul Thompson, Employer and Skills Manager at SEMLEP, added: “The success of Bedford Academy, The Avenue Centre and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is well-deserved and a fitting endorsement of huge progress made by local schools and colleges, with support from employers, in ensuring that careers provision is relevant and has impact.

"The South East Midlands’ Local Industrial Strategy places emphasis on actions we need to take to ensure young people can make informed choices and have the skills required by local employers.

"This will only happen with the type of employer participation, activity and dedication demonstrated by our award winners.”