Outstanding learners, tutors, teachers, colleges and schools saw their achievements recognised in @Pearson's 11th annual BTEC awards ceremony, held online for the second year running due to coronavirus. 

The ceremony was co-hosted by presenter of the United View, YouTube influencer and BTEC alumnus and Ambassador, Flex and sports presenter Gemma Care. 19 category award winners were celebrated from around the UK and internationally in subjects such as Health and Social Care, Performing Arts, Engineering, IT, Business and Sport. 

BTEC alumni including Academy Award-winning producer and Head of Film and Animation at ScreenSkills Gareth Ellis-Unwin, entrepreneur and founder of SBTV Jamal Edwards MBE, and ex-Coronation Street actress Lucy Fallon were among those also presenting awards.

Cindy Rampersaud Senior Vice President for BTEC and Apprenticeships at Pearson, said:

“2021 has been another extraordinary year for our BTEC learners, tutors, teachers, colleges and schools and I am delighted that today we are able to come together and celebrate this year’s winners - and all of the individuals who will be awarded a BTEC qualification this year. The hard work and commitment demonstrated by our award winners, all of whom have achieved great things during a time of unprecedented disruption, is extraordinary and I am proud we are able to celebrate their achievements.”  

The BTEC Young Learner of the Year was awarded to Lily Carcaterra from Stafford, who has been studying for a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Business. Lily shone through as a person of great strength.  She juggles numerous commitments – caring for her disabled sister, advocating for others at her college and gaining paid work experience in tandem with her studies. Powered by the determination to build a bright future through sheer hard work and academic achievement, she is independent, empathic, high-achieving, resilient and remarkable.

The Adult Learner of the Year award was presented to James Smith* from Redhill, who stood out to the judges because of his dedication to become a public servant. On track to achieve the highest possible grades at the end of the year, he is a volunteer with the emergency services which he balances with part-time work and full-time college work. He has also taken a leading role on a number of college volunteer projects including leading a student-led donations drive at a local food bank. James also received the award for Public Services Learner of the Year 2021 due to his skills at helping to motivate others. His teachers say he has an outstandingly calm and compassionate disposition too.    

During the ceremony hosted on YouTube, Pearson also announced the winners of the 2021 Showstopper Challenge, a competition that gives BTEC performers the opportunity to showcase their talents. The audience were treated to performances from:   

  • Bishop Challoner Catholic College
  • Jackie Palmer Academy
  • Clevedon School
  • D16 Performing Arts College

Nearly a million learners across the globe completed BTEC courses over the past year; the career-focused qualifications are a vital route for those pursuing careers in sectors such as IT, business, the creative industries, healthcare, engineering, construction and future industries. This is especially important in the current context as the UK responds to the global pandemic and looks to kickstart projects to speed economic recovery. 

Jonathan Ledger, Skills Specialist at The Department for International Trade commented:

“I must emphasise the importance of BTEC as a career-focused type of qualification and that for me is key. This is all about delivering the right skills to the right people at the right time in the right way and BTEC qualifications do just that. For me, BTEC qualifications are a game changer. They change lives and they help people improve and contribute to business and society in a big way.

A huge congratulations once again to all the winners and all of the nominees.”

* Name changed for confidentiality

The final judging panel comprised of: 

  • Cindy Rampersaud, Senior Vice President, BTEC & Apprenticeships, Pearson
  • Jane Baker, Vice-President, Higher Education Qualifications, Pearson
  • Derek Richardson, Vice President and Senior Responsible Officer Quality Services & Governance, Pearson
  • Claire Riddle, Vice-President, Marketing, BTEC & Apprenticeships, Pearson
  • Shane Mann, Managing Director, LSECT
  • Kasim Choudhry, Thinkfest National Director

BTEC Gold winners

BTEC Art and Design Learner of the Year - Lily Robinson from Kirklees College

BTEC Business and Enterprise Learner of the Year and Young Learner of the Year - Lily Carcaterra from Newcastle & Stafford Colleges Group

BTEC Child, Health and Social Care Learner of the Year - Aliyah Black from South West College

BTEC Construction Learner of the Year - Joseph Kizhakechethipuzha from Dudley College of Technology

BTEC Creative Media Learner of the Year - Tiago Bastos Nunes from ETIC, Portugal

BTEC Engineering Learner of the Year - Dean Hargreaves from Blackpool and The Fylde College

BTEC Hospitality, Travel and Tourism Learner of the Year - Caitlin Tohill and Caoimhe Tohill from St. Patrick’s College

BTEC IT and Computing Learner of the Year - Rey Poh from Sandbach High School and Sixth Form College

BTEC Land-Based Learner of the Year - Kira Newey from NPTC Group

BTEC Music Learner of the Year - Rowan Scourfield from The Priory School

BTEC Performing Arts Learner of the Year - Wilbert Kapinga from Braeburn International School Arusha, Tanzania

BTEC Public Service Learner of the Year and Adult Learner of the Year - James Smith from East Surrey College

BTEC Science Learner of the Year - Jacob Cook from Bristol Free School and Sixth Form

BTEC Sport Learner of the Year - Megan Piechowiak from Jumeirah English Speaking School, UAE

BTEC College of the Year - Abingdon and Witney College

BTEC International Centre of the Year - IVS Alliance, Netherlands

BTEC School of the Year - The Bourne Academy

BTEC Teacher of the Year - Eren Büktel from TED Atakent High School, Turkey

BTEC Tutor of the Year - Nathan Smith from Chichester College Group

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