Simon Weston, the celebrated Falklands war hero who suffered 49% burns when his ship was attacked in the 1982 conflict, presented students from West Cheshire College with their qualifications in a ceremony at the College’s annual cap and gown Higher Education & Professional Presentation Evening at Chester Town Hall.
More than 80 students, along with their families and College staff, were present to receive their certificates from Simon who congratulated them on their work. In welcoming guests to the ceremony, West Cheshire College Principal Sara Mogel highlighted the college’s contribution to the local community and economy. She said: “Our successful students here tonight are very important to the economic stability of the country. We are being left behind in the skills race with other nations investing more in upskilling their people, putting themselves in a better position to grow economically.”
A Growing Gap?
She went on to say: “This is a particular issue in West Cheshire where there is a considerable skills gap between what skill levels employers need and the skills people have. Currently West Cheshire imports employees both from the areas around us and from abroad, but this is not a long-term solution.
“If we do not change this trend in the not-so-distant future companies will move from West Cheshire to where the skilled workforce is and new employers will not move into the area. Our students deserve our thanks for juggling work and home responsibilities to up-skill themselves in order to secure our economic future.”
University College Chester Sponsor Award
The ceremony included the presentation of a University College Chester – sponsored Student of the Year award which was presented by the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Tim Wheeler.
The award went to Amanda Canning (38) from Chester who completed the HNC in Business and Finance. Amanda’s tutors nominated her for the award after she showed consistent hard work and dedication. She submitted all assignments on time and gained distinctions for each and every one whilst running florist shop at the same time.
Amanda, who seemed to be delighted with winning the award, was confident that her new qualification would have a positive impact upon her business: “Before starting the course I was concerned that I wouldn”t be able to apply the techniques to a small business but I can honestly say that I use them daily. You have to show a lot of commitment, not only leaving the business to attend College, but also at home.
“There is a lot of work to do in your own time but its well worth it ““ I believe that you get out of life as much as you put in. The tutors were also fantastic and made it very easy to learn because they were so inspirational.”
Congratulate all the students in the FE Blog
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