More than 200 people gathered for the annual Derby College Peak Awards at the historic Roundhouse to celebrate the achievements of students across the organisation.
The awards were compered by Derby businessman Dean Jackson, owner of triathlon kit designers HUUB which was recognised as Employer of the Year at last year’s Peak Awards. Mr Jackson works with the College through the innovative Employer Academy programme and is also a guest lecturer in the Business Studies department.
Awards were presented by representatives of local businesses who had sponsored individual awards.
Two special prizes were awarded on the night – Student of the Year and Apprentice of the Year.
Student of the Year was Business student Nadine Potter (17) from Littleover who came to the College from Derby Moor Community Sports College and also won the Peak Award for Business.
On course to achieve triple distinction stars in her study programme, she has also taken advantage of the work experience opportunities including a placement at First Response Finance in Chilwell. She has successfully gained a higher apprenticeship at Rolls-Royce plc.
Apprentice of the Year was awarded to Matthew Hitchcock (19) from West Hallam. After achieving good GCSE grades at Kirk Hallam School, he secured a Quantity Surveyor apprenticeship with Keyclad in Heage, part of the Bowmer & Kirkland Group.
He attends Derby College on day release and achieved triple distinctions in the BTEC extended diploma in Construction and the Built Environment – which is a full time qualification - with his sights set on gaining a degree in Quantity Surveying part time at Nottingham Trent University.
Employer of the Year was presented to FP McCann which is the country’s largest supplier and manufacturer of precast concrete solution – employing more than 1,300 staff at 12 sites – including Weston Underwood in Derbyshire.
The company has worked with the College’s Roundhouse Recruitment division over the past three years recruit a wide range of apprentices and has been heavily involved in events and initiatives to encourage more young people into the construction industry.
Other award winners included:
Cheryl Collick (43) from Chaddesden who won the Construction Award. She returned to College to study painting and decorating and is currently training for national skills competitions. Her ultimate goal is to set up her own painting and decorating business.
Hair and Media Make up student Charlotte Hall (19) from Borrowash won the Entrepreneurship Award in recognition of her work, supported by the Prince’s Trust, to set up her own business – Faces by Charlotte.
The Media and Arts Award went to eighteen-year-old Abraham Steward from Stanley Common who has completed a range of work experience placements and is planning to study Architecture at the University of Sheffield.
Motor Vehicle student Mohammed Ali (18) from Derby who is former Bemrose School pupil who achieved excellent results including 100% in his industry body electronics exam.
The Teacher Training Award went to Mark Wetton who works with learners with learning difficulties and disabilities at Derby College – an area graded as Outstanding by Ofsted last year.
Daniel Parkes (21) from Hilton won the Higher Education Award as the first student on the Derby College BA (Honours) Security and Offender Management degree programme to achieve a First Class Honours degree. He is now preparing to do a Masters at Nottingham Trent University in Forensic Mental Health.
The pre-16 award was presented to Matthew Woodhouse (16) who is a year 11 pupil at John Flamsteed Community School and attends the Construction Academy one day a week at the Ilkeston campus for his success in a number of skills competitions.
Derby College Chief Executive Mandie Stravino said: “The Peak Awards come at the end of another very successful academic year for Derby College.
“We have built even further on the excellent work highlighted by Ofsted who, in 2016 rightly judged us as being a 'Good' College with 'Outstanding' features.
“This praise was further cemented by the College featuring as a best practice case study in Ofsted Chief Inspector's Annual Report for our partnership working with employers.
“Highlights in the past year have ranged from our Little Explorers day nursery achieving an 'Outstanding' grade by Ofsted to the outstanding success of one of our former students, Adam Peaty, in the pool at Rio 2016.
“The Peak Awards is the highlight of the College calendar and I want to thank everyone who has helped to support these and all of our students to achieve their potential and set them on the path to their future careers.”