From education to employment

Last Chance for STAR Awards Nominations: 21st April Deadline Day

The third annual STAR Awards ceremony is due to take place in London this October. The awards will honour those people who work tirelessly to improve the learning experience for people within their communities. But with a nominations deadline of April 21st, there isn”t long left to register votes.

Melanie Hunt, Director of Learning at the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) is urging people to cast their vote and ensure that those who deserve recognition will be rewarded for their work. Melanie said: “¦With so much creativity and innovation in the sector, the STAR Awards provide a real opportunity to recognise those who are involved in education, training and support for people over the age of 16. Ultimately the awards aim to recognise and celebrate the richness and diversity of a sector which prides itself in being responsive to so many different learners.”

A Selection of Recognition

There are more than 600,000 people in the learning and skills sector eligible for STAR Awards. According to the Department for Education and Skills (DFES), the last two years have brought recognition to over 5,000 workers from a diverse range of jobs: “¦From workplace trainers, college managers and prison tutors to administrators, learning and support workers and cleaners. There are thousands more out there who deserve to be recognised and rewarded for their dedication and support to learners all over the country.”

Melanie Hunt continued, saying: “¦.The challenge for these individuals is to engage learners from different backgrounds, be responsive to different people’s needs and to ensure that learners develop their skills and knowledge. They provide the support and encouragement for learners to succeed, which in turn helps individuals move into employment, achieve qualifications, and in some cases progress on to higher education.”

The 2006 Awards

Up until now there were sixteen different awards categories ranging from “Further Education Tutor of the Year” to the “Award for Outstanding Contribution from a Volunteer”. This year is set to be even more interactive with the addition of a new “Learner’s Choice” award. That brings the total number of awards up for grabs to seventeen and the STAR Awards are particularly interested in receiving nominations from learners.

Previous hosts for the evening have included current host of BBC Breakfast, Dermot Murnaghan as well as broadcasters Penny Smith and Ben Shephard. All 153 shortlisted nominees were invited to attend last year’s ceremony, along with guests, learners and other supporters.

Nominations can be made online by clicking here or via the freephone helpline on 0800 652 0528. As Melanie Hunt puts it: “With an estimated one in ten of the population studying in the learning and skills sector, there are potentially 6 million people who could nominate someone!”

Joel Goldman

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