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Students find their vocations in life

Date published: 12 June 2015


A RANGE of workplace, industrial and professional skills were showcased at Oldham College’s 2015 Vocational Award.

The event at Oldham’s Queen Elizabeth Hall highlighted students and apprentices linked to sectors ranging from accountancy and media to plumbing and hairdressing.

College principal Alun Francis welcomed guests to the event which was compered by former media student Kevin Fitzpatrick, a BBC Radio Manchester and 5 Live journalist.

Mr Francis said: “Vocational qualifications have never been more important, providing the skills that businesses need to be able to grow.

“The college has a close relationship with employers, who have input on courses, and our tutors have to be able to develop courses in an incredibly fast-moving environment.

“We have the best vocational courses on offer and these awards highlight fantastic achievements.”

Mathew Finnegan was named Best Performing Student in the Faculty of Construction and Built Environment. He is studying an access to building services plumbing level 2 course.

Stephen Smith was Best Performing Student in the Digital and Creative Faculty. He is studying a foundation diploma in art and design at level 3.

Thahmina Begum was Best Performing Student in the Faculty of Performing Arts. She is studying a creative media production level 3 course.

In the Faculty of Retail and Commercial, Aniqa Saleem was named Best Performing Student. She is on a diploma in women’s hairdressing level 2 course.

Mature student Gwendolen Bebbington was the Best Performing Student in the Faculty of Caring Professions. She is studying a support teaching and learning level 3 course. She had gone to college to have a change of career and is an outstanding role model for younger students, the college said.

The Financial and Professional Services faculty’s Best Performing Student was Nisha Zaman. She has completed a level 4 AAT accountancy course. Nisha was also named the college’s overall Student of the Year sponsored by University Campus Oldham.

An to mark its 10th anniversary the campus, which is linked to the college, is offering £1,000 scholarships to students.

James Kay was Best Performing Student in the Faculty of Sport, Travel and Public Services. He is studying on an extended diploma in uniform public services level 3 course.

Huzaifa Ali was Best Performing Student for the Directorate of Employability and Skills. He is on an AEL (English as an additional language) course for 14 to 16-year-olds.

Marzia Babakarkhail received the Significant Contribution to College and Community award. She has championed womens’ rights and encouraged students to integrate in classes, across the college and with the wider community. On International Women’s Day, she delivered a speech by Oldham East MP Debbie Abrahams and Councillor Sue Dearden at an event held in Oldham Library.

Jai Worseman was named Most Improved Student aged 16 to 18. He studies on a creative media production level 3 course.

Ryan Ashton was the Most Improved Student for the 19-plus age category. He also studies on the creative media production level 3 course.

Travis Glossop was named the Best-Performing Work Experience Student. A creative media production level 3 student, he has had placements with Royal Oldham Hospital’s Radio Cavell, Revolution Radio and BBC Radio Manchester. His success has come despite his father being seriously ill.

Sofia Reda received the Achieving Against All Odds award. She is on an English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) course and was praised for her contribution to classes and her hard work.

The Most Enterprising Student accolade went to Dan Arundel.

He is on an extended diploma in enterprise course with the Peter Jones Academy, based at Oldham College.

Dan has developed the Arundel Bakery business, is in talks about setting up stalls within the House of Fraser and is a finalist in this year’s National Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

College transitions tutor Luke Kirkpatrick was named Tutor of the Year, voted for by students and staff.

Apprentice of the Year was James Thorburn. He is training on a plumbing and heating level 2 apprenticeship and works for Lewis Facilities in Chadderton.

Apprenticeship Employer of the Year was E-On, which has used the college to provide the first highways electrical apprenticeship. The award was handed to Chris Roe from E-On.

Digital firm Sopra Steria received the Outstanding Employer Contribution to Curriculum award. The company, which has its North-West office in Manchester, has clients including the BBC, NHS and government organisations.

It advises Oldham College on developing its digital courses to suit the latest and future needs of industry, and develop the next generation of skilled young workers.

Tim Difford and Anna Leyland accepted the award on behalf of Sopra Steria.


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