22 August 2022

Inspiring young learners share achievements at Celebration of Success events

Young learners aged 16-24 have been recognised for their success on Skills Training UK’s BTEC courses and Traineeship programmes. These programmes offer alternative pathways to college, where young people can learn and develop new skills in a highly supportive environment, improving their future life choices.Two big events – held in London and Wolverhampton – saw hundreds of learners gather together with their families to celebrate their success. Learners received special awards recognising their hard work and outstanding achievements, alongside their tutors and Skills Training UK’s employer partners and referral agencies.

Awards were presented to learners for their success in core subjects such as English, Maths and Essential Digital Skills, as well as recognising those who have overcome personal barriers on the Mentor Me! mentoring programme. Overall Outstanding Achievement awards were also presented to individual learners from Skills Training UK’s Training Centres in Wembley, Ealing, Wolverhampton, Walsall, Dudley and West Bromwich.

Jade Nicholson was presented with the Outstanding Achiever Award for Walsall after completing her BTEC Level 3 Health and Social Care. Jade was determined to complete the coursework with the aim of going to university, all while recovering from a family bereavement.

Speaking on stage as she accepted her award, Jade said: “I had a feeling Skills Training UK was going to be the best experience of my life. I was welcomed by warm hearts and open arms and that’s when I felt like I was at home. Walsall Centre isn’t just a college where you walk in, sit down, do your work without any help or conversations, it’s a family. I have had a great experience, Matt is the best tutor in the world, and all the other wonderful staff are just amazing.”

In Wembley, 17-year-old Shirece Stephens was awarded for Outstanding Attitude as she achieved qualifications in Business Admin, Customer Service, Maths, English and completed a work experience placement. Shirece has a passion for catering and ambitions to become a chef.

Shirece Stephens said: “If you study with Skills Training UK, you’re going to come out with the most positive energy. Everyone is really nice and supportive. The tutors will always push you to achieve what you want, they helped me with my anxiety and I’m proud that I was able to push myself to be more open, to go to events, do work experience and talk to more people. I worked hard and it’s made me really happy.”

Learners took the opportunity to showcase their own creative talents with musical and dance performances on stage. In Wolverhampton, there was a particularly special drum solo from Walsall learner Georgia Cash who, encouraged by her tutors and peers, had discovered the confidence to live her dream and perform in front of an audience. At the end of the event, Georgia was presented with a drumkit, bought by her tutors, to take home and keep as a heart-warming reward for her achievements in BTEC English and the Mentor Me! programme.

The Celebration of Success events also recognised the importance of Skills Training UK’s partnerships with employers, who offer work experience placements to learners as part of their vocational training, and referral agencies like Jobcentre Plus who identify and support young people to take their first steps with Skills Training UK.

Guy Ballantine, CEO, Skills Training UK, said: “Our Celebration of Success events are all about shining a spotlight on our fantastic learners across the country, and how they work hard every day to achieve qualifications, overcome challenges and take positive steps towards a job or further education. Our learners’ stories are truly inspiring and they showcase the supportive, motivational, family environment that our Training Centres offer. I’m delighted that we have been able to provide such a successful and enjoyable alternative to the traditional college route, which for an increasing number of learners can’t provide the supportive environment in which they will thrive. We pride ourselves on providing such an environment.

“Congratulations to each and every learner for their achievements this year, and thank you to all our wonderful tutors, employers and referral partners for supporting our learners in their journeys to success.”

Photo caption: Walsall learner Jade Nicholson (centre) is presented with an Outstanding Achievement Awardby her tutors. (Credit: Jermane Clarke)
Photo caption: Skills Training UK celebrates the success of its learners in the West Midlands. (Centre, L-R) Guy Ballantine, CEO; Joanne Heywood, Operations Manager; and Graham Clarke, Director of Education and Social Mobility. (Credit: Jermane Clarke)
Photo caption: Learner Shirece Stephens at the London Celebration of Success event (Credit: Matt Grayson)
Photo caption: Learner Kayla Spence receiving her award at the London Celebration of Success event (Credit: Matt Grayson)

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