Vocational training scheme reaps awards

Eric Wright, chairman of the Eric Wright Group with EWLF student, Jake Nuttall, winner of the Employability award and Overall Joiner of the Year.

Eric Wright, chairman of the Eric Wright Group with EWLF student, Jake Nuttall, winner of the Employability award and Overall Joiner of the Year.

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Employees of the future have been rewarded at a special awards ceremony at Preston’s College to celebrate excellence in 14-16 vocational learning.

A bevy of trophies were handed out during a celebration evening held at the College’s iSTEM Centre, recognising ‘innovation’, ‘self-development’ and ‘employability’.

A total of 24 winners were chosen from more than 120 youngsters from schools across the county who attend the college one afternoon a week to train in skills as diverse as construction and hair and beauty to automotive technology, child development and ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages).

The students are part of the Fulwood college’s 14-16 two-year Work Ready Programme, which has been developed alongside a number of employers to give young people the chance to gain a variety of industry-specific skills to help them to progress into further study or an apprenticeship on completion.

Representatives from the Eric Wright Group were in attendance to toast the work of Eric Wright Learning Foundation (EWLF) students.

This programme, which aims to provide 14 to 16-year-olds with basic construction skills, has been running or a number of years supported by local high school.

Last year, the initiative joined forces with Preston’s College and relocated operations to a purpose-built 1,131 sq m construction centre on the St Vincent’s Road campus.

Debbie Ireland, head of division for 14-16 at Preston’s College, said: “These awards celebrate the commitment and skills development of our youngest learners.

“Our students benefit from a programme that gives them a taste of vocational training prior to leaving school, to help them understand the range of careers, skills and training available to them.”

EWLF student, Jake Nuttall, from Brownedge St Mary’s Catholic High School, scooped the Employability award and Overall Joiner of the Year.

A number of other construction students also received special commendations for their work including Year 11 Bradley Walmsley, from Leyland St Mary’s Catholic High School, who won the award for Overall Best Learner in brickwork.