National accolade for New City College’s Covid response back to work scheme.


Covid lockdown back-to-work scheme at New City College achieves national Beacon accolade. 

New City College has received a high-profile national Commendation for its innovative Covid-response programme, designed to get people trained, qualified and back into work.  

The college’s Beacon Commendation recognises NCC’ssuccess in supporting people whose jobs and livelihoods were impacted by Covid lockdowns, to get retrained and back into work through its sector-based Work Academy Programme.  

The college – which has campuses in Epping Forest, Hackney, Havering, Redbridge and Tower Hamlets – responded directly and rapidly to the increased and changing landscape of London’s unemployment, as a result of the Covid lockdowns. People who had lifelong professional careers were claiming benefits for the first time, and desperate to get back into work. Some sectors lost thousands of jobs, while other career opportunities emerged.  

The college team stepped up to the challenge to deliver flexible, intensive and effective training and qualifications through the lockdown periods. The team expanded capacity and adapted the way that they taught so that people could get re-trained and start new jobs as soon as lockdown lifted.  

Key to the success of the scheme is the college’s strong relationship with employers, Job Centre Plus managers and advisers, as well as local charities and community groups. The courses are directly informed by available and upcoming job vacancies, so that students can be guaranteed a job interview if they successfully complete their course. 

One participant commented: “It was a great opportunity for me to start something new which I knew I would be good at. The best choice in my life! I was offered an interview for a job which was successful.” 

More than 1,000 people benefited from the programme and secured work in schools, housing, adult social care, security, and public service administration. In turn, the college also directly benefited itself by training talented teachers to help the programme grow to meet its increasing demand.  

Jamie Stevenson, Group Executive Director: Apprenticeships and Business Development at New City College, said: “I am so impressed with how the team innovatively adapted the programme in response to demand and the restrictions of lockdown. The success in supporting unemployed people back into work speaks for itself. I’m so proud of the team and our students. Being recognised with an AoC Beacon Commendation is a superb recognition of their efforts.” 

This is the second year running that New City College has met the Association of Colleges Beacon Standard which awards high levels of innovation, impact and sustainability. 

This year the college’s Commendation is in the Engagement with Employers category, sponsored by City & Guilds. Last year, the college was recognised for its unique approach to tailored mental health support for students.

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