SkillsActive has been crowned winner of the prestigious Gold Medal for the ‘Award for Invaluable Volunteering Project’ at the 2012 Podium Awards on Thursday, May 3, 2012.
Top honours were awarded to the Sector Skills Council for Sport and Active Leisure for its involvement in the ‘Personal Best’ flagship training programme, designed to harness the unique motivating force of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Organisers Podium, the further and higher education unit for the 2012 Games, recognised the sector skills council’s development, leadership and coordination role in the programme and voted SkillsActive best in category ahead of Host Borough Colleges and Universities South West.
The Personal Best programme, offered at 50 centres across the UK including further education colleges and private training providers, uses the prospect of becoming a Games Time Volunteer in 2012 as an inspiration to attract eligible people to undertake a Level 1 qualification, take part in volunteering and ultimately to move into employment.
Steve Mitchell, Head of National Partnerships at SkillsActive, comments: “It is fantastic to have our part in the delivery of the Personal Best programme so publically recognised.”
“It is also extremely rewarding to see so many young graduates from the programme finding jobs, having become better prepared to enter the workforce.”
Paul Deighton, CEO LOCOG said; “Colleges and Universities have played an integral role in supporting London 2012. I congratulate Skills Active on winning a gold medal at the Podium Awards. Personal Best is a tremendous example of how the power of the Games is being used to inspire people to make a real and lasting difference.”
Since launching in 2008 the Programme has enrolled over 5,400 individuals and nearly 2,000 of these have already achieved a Level 1 award in preparation for event volunteering (Personal Best).
To date, a quarter of graduates enrolled on Personal Best have successfully found employment. It has attracted over 40 per cent of participants from black and ethnic minorities and 22 per cent of participants have a long term disability / health problem or learning difficulty.
The programme is jointly led by Department of Work and Pensions and Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills.
The 2012 Podium Awards is a prestigious one-off celebration recognising the vital role that UK colleges and universities play in delivering the London 2012 Games. It showcases the very best of further and higher education sectors. Over 200 nominations across nine categories were received for diverse Olympic and Paralympic Games related projects, programmes and partnerships produced by further and higher education providers across the UK.
SkillActive's Steve Mitchell accepts the Gold award for Personal Best, see the video here.