• Jessica Harman

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 Learning Foundation and held at Preston North End Football Club, attracted more than 280 guests including learners, parents, carers, school and college staff and trustees from the Eric Wright Learning Foundation and the Eric Wright Charitable Trust.

59 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.

Seventeen 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, since 2015 the Eric Wright Learning Foundation has partnered with Preston’s College in delivering vocational courses. 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, Brayden Adams, scooped Carpentry and Joiner of the Year and Patrick Ostridge, Plumber of the Year. Both are from Shaftesbury High School in Chorley. Fellow student, Spencer Whitaker from Southlands High School in Chorley, was awarded Bricklayer of the Year and Ben Parker also from Southlands Plasterer of the Year. Luke Carleton from Parklands High School in Chorley was awarded Painting and Decorator of the Year. Our final award of the evening was for Overall School of the Year which went to Brownedge St Marys Catholic High School in Bamber Bridge.

Diane Bourne, trustee of the Learning Foundation and managing director of Eric Wright Civil Engineering, 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 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.”

To find out more about the 14-16 courses at Preston’s College, visit: www.preston.ac.uk

Spencer Whitaker, Southlands High School – Overall Bricklayer of the Year

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