From education to employment

Student Success Celebrated at Young Talent Awards

High school students from across Lancashire studying 14-16 vocational courses at Preston’s College have been recognised for their hard work, dedication and stand out achievements over the last 12 months.

The annual awards evening, sponsored by the Eric Wright Group and held at Preston North End Football Club, attracted more than 170 guests including learners, parents, carers, school and college staff and trustees from the Eric Wright Charitable Trust.

Thirty-four trophies were handed out on the night, recognising young learners who’d demonstrated outstanding innovation, self-development and employability.

The students attend Preston’s College as part of their school week to train, develop professional skills and gain nationally-recognised qualifications in subjects such as construction, catering, motor vehicle, child development and hair & beauty.

Eleven accolades were awarded specifically to construction students studying at the Eric Wright Learning Foundation. Launched in 2005 to provide construction industry career paths to local young people and futureproof the pipeline of talent entering the sector, the Eric Wright Group moved its Learning Foundation to Preston’s College in 2015. Learners study Level 1 to 3 vocational skills programmes and are taught in real work environments within a purpose-built construction centre that replicates a live site.

Eric Wright Learning Foundation student, Jack Hampson, scooped Carpentry and Joiner of the Year and Bailey Helm, Painter and Decorator of the Year. Both are from St Mary’s Catholic High School in Leyland. Fellow student, Jack Deacon from Brownedge St Mary’s Catholic High School in Bamber Bridge, was awarded Bricklayer of the Year.

Diane Bourne, trustee of the Eric Wright Learning Foundation, said: “This event marks another great year of collaboration between the Eric Wright Learning Foundation and Preston’s College.

“It’s always so inspiring to see how dedicated these young people are and it’s down to their huge efforts and determination that make the 14-16 programmes a great success.

Debbie Ireland, head of curriculum at Preston’s College, added: “Our 14 to 16-year-old students show incredible levels of commitment and this event is an important part of our calendar to allow us to celebrate their achievements.

“We’re always keen to offer students the opportunity to combine vocational learning with their GCSEs and these courses provide young people with an important first step towards skilled employment.”

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