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B&FC Principal awarded CBE in King’s birthday honours list

Published on 31/12/2022 by ECOOK


Congratulations to Blackpool and The Fylde College’s Principal and Chief Executive Bev Robinson OBE who has been awarded a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), for Services to Further Education in the King’s New Years’ honours list. The CBE is the highest-ranking Order of the British Empire award.

Bev’s CBE recognises her longstanding contribution to further education, through her leadership of Blackpool and The Fylde College, in her national roles as a non-executive director of the Board of the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education, co-author of the Augar Report and Sainsbury Review and locally as a member of Lancashire LEP’s Skills and Employment Board and Blackpool’s Town Deal Board.

With over 25 years’ experience in further and higher education colleges, Bev has been instrumental in England in contributing to the development of technical and professional education aligned to the needs of the economy.

Bev said, “This honour is in recognition of the work of everyone who chooses to work in Further Education and particularly my colleagues at Blackpool and The Fylde College whose tireless commitment to our students, apprentices, employer-partners and the wider community is beyond commendable.

“The FE sector is wholly inclusive, enabling people of all ages, from all backgrounds, the opportunity to thrive and succeed. We are the powerhouse behind the much-needed skills revolution, working in partnership with industry to develop the highly skilled workforce needed to drive the UK economy, whilst enabling all apprentices and students to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes to secure lifelong, enriching careers. I am delighted that this work has been recognised in this way.”

“I feel truly privileged and extremely humbled to be awarded this honour.”

Since Bev joined Blackpool and The Fylde College in April 2013, the College has focussed on education and training which drives the economy, delivers a skilled workforce for industry and secures sustainable and vibrant career opportunities for students and apprentices. Key College achievements include:

  •  December 2022: Lancashire’s Institute of Technology is granted its license, a collaboration which B&FC leads
  •  September 2022: B&FC awarded Bachelor’s Degree Awarding Powers
  • August 2021 selected as World Skills Centre of Excellence for engineering, automotive and computing
  •  Ranked in the top 3% of further education colleges in England for six consecutive years for student success
  • Largest single college provider of degree level education in England
  •  40% of B&FC’s graduates in highly skilled employment earn £33k or more, compared with 15% nationally
  •  The first T Level cohort to finish in 2022 achieved a 100% achievement rate, with 85% receiving a grade Merit or above
  •  Working collaboratively to co-create curriculum with circa 1800 employers and supporting 1600 apprentices annually.
  • B&FC curriculum supports 9 out of 10 of the government’s Green Energy Plan
  • March 2018 B&FC’s Lancashire Energy HQ opens supporting the energy industry across the UK
  • September 2016: B&FC granted Foundation Degree Awarding Powers by the Privy Council
  • July 2016: B&FC becomes one of the first organisations to receive Chartered Institute for Further Education
  • November 2015: B&FC awarded the prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for its technical and professional work in partnership with employers
  •  September 2015 B&FC’s Advanced Technology Centre opens supporting advanced manufacturing
  • 2014/15: B&FC receives STEM Assured Status. The College delivers more STEM based higher education than any other FE College in England (HEFCE).