Former Leyland student Owen Henley is top of the class - and not just because he is working with Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy on series two of BBC drama Peaky Blinders.
The ex-Runshaw College scholar is officially the nation’s VQ Learner of the Year after scooping the prestigious award in recognition of his outstanding achievement through undertaking a media production vocational qualification.
Since gaining a BTEC vocational qualification in media production, television and film, he worked hard to gain real-world experience throughout his studies, as well as setting up a successful YouTube channel and college magazine programme.
Over the past few years, Owen has worked with big names in the television and film industry, including Danny Boyle, Ridley Scott and the BBC.
He has gained experience on a wide variety of media formats, working as a camera operator and then director of photography, and regularly returns to the Langdale Road college to inspire current students about the opportunities their vocational qualifications can bring them.
Owen said he was “elated” to win the award and added: “Completing a vocational qualification opened so many doors and equipped me with skills that have enabled me to turn my passion into a successful career.
“I’m delighted that this nomination has recognised my hard work and the hard work of vocational students across the UK.
“There are so many different training opportunities to choose from and I would highly recommend vocational learning to others.”
He received the accolade on VQ Day, which is an annual event led by independent education charity, the Edge Foundation.
Jan Hodges OBE, chief executive of the Edge Foundation, says: “Owen is a great example of how practical, technical and vocational qualifications can be the catalyst for a successful and fulfilling career. We wish him the best of luck in the future.”