Pupils prepare for world of work

PUPILS preparing to sit their GCSEs took time off from their revision to celebrate their achievements in vocational studies.

Stoke-on-Trent College works with 28 schools to offer Years 10 and 11 students the chance to complete vocational qualifications alongside their traditional exam subjects.

  1. CONGRATULATIONS: Sophie Hodkiss with Joe Hemmings and Gareth Owen. Pictures: Mark Scott
    CONGRATULATIONS: Sophie Hodkiss with Joe Hemmings and Gareth Owen. Pictures: Mark Scott

The Pre-16 School Link programme is designed to make sure the youngsters are well-equipped for both further education and the jobs market.

Port Vale star Gareth Owen, pictured below, yesterday presented prizes to more than 200 teenagers who have completed the scheme.

He said: “It was a privilege to be here. Everyone who has completed these qualifications should be commended for what they have achieved. They have pursued their education and that is so important.

“Education has played a massive part in my life all the way through my career.

“I went to Moorlands Sixth Form Centre in Cheadle and I have just completed a university degree while continuing to play for Port Vale. You are never too old to learn, in every job you have to keep learning and developing. And it’s fantastic that these young people have all furthered their knowledge and learning.”

Parents, guests and pupils were entertained by those studying performing arts at the college. They sang two songs from their recently-staged musical Cabaret.

Special awards were also presented to students with 100 per cent attendance.

A prize for outstanding group of the year was given to the media students, while student of the year was awarded to 15-year-old hair and beauty student Sophie Hodkiss, from Alsager.

Charles Bartholomew, media assistant director and compere for the awards, said: “Sophie has consistently shown a high standard of work during her two-year course and has a very positive attitude which also has an impact on fellow students.

“She encourages and assists others when she has completed her own work. She is pleasant and likeable and her customer care skills are excellent.

“In the salon she helps to make members of the public feel welcome and her lecturers believe she is a star in the making and will become a successful stylist.”

Sophie, who has completed her City and Guilds level one in hair and beauty, said: “This course has made me sure of what I want to do in the future.

“It’s been a two-year programme, with me going to college once-a-week every Tuesday and it’s great to have a qualification and award at the end of it.”

Former BTEC construction student Joe Hemmings, who is now at the Port Vale Academy, was guest of honour alongside Mr Owen.

The 17-year-old completed his two-year diploma while at St Margaret Ward High in Tunstall.

He said: “I decided to come to college to do the construction course when I was in Year 10.

“It was a great way to meet new people and try something different. I learned painting skills and a lot about house building which can be a back up plan for me if I need it.”

Paul Champion
Strategic Project Manager

Mobile: 07540 704920

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