Two Walsall College have been awarded a prestigious Bronze and Silver BTEC Award for Protective Services Student of the Year and Performing Arts Student of the Year.
Bronze Award winner, Tre Higgins was nominated by his lecturers in recognition of a BTEC learning journey that began with a Level 2 course and saw him progress up to a university-level, HND qualification. In addition to his studies, he has been in the RAF air cadets and army reserves, mentored and supported classmates as well as participated in the college’s Streetwatch community patrol initiative.
During his HND qualification, Tre was in Cyprus as a supplier with the army reserves where he supported UN peacekeeping operations.
Commenting on his time as a BTEC student, Tre said: “The opportunities on my courses, the module topics, practical activities and events I’ve been involved in, as well as college-led activities helped develop my ambition to become a police officer, which is what I completed my degree honours in.
“I’m honoured to have received this award. I would definitely encourage others to study vocational, practical courses. They really help you learn and grow as a person.”
Silver Award winner, Tyrelle Scarlett who studied Level 3 Performing Arts (Acting) was also delighted by his award win.
Despite the pandemic impacting on his ability to develop his skills and confidence as a performance artist, he went out of his way to collaborate with the college’s creative media students on their film productions and develop performance technician skills outside of his studies. This latter activity led to him supporting the college’s technicians during a number of in-house and external performances and shows.
Tyrelle, who is now at university said: “My BTEC studies helped me, in terms of being able to live my life and accept who I am regardless of personality, ability, looks and lifestyle. I feel I’ve matured through my course and am more equipped to manage the lifestyle of a performer and artist.”
Award winners were recognised by Pearson in over twenty categories, including Health and Social Care, Engineering, Music, Esports and Creative Media, with each winner selected from thousands – and often tens of thousands – of eligible students.
Freya Thomas Monk, Senior Vice President for Vocational Qualifications and Training, said: “After two long years spent giving or receiving lessons behind a computer screen, through face masks, or socially distanced, 2022 has been a whirlwind for everyone involved in education. Considering this, it makes the inspiring achievements documented in Tre and Tyrelle’s submissions all the more impressive. The hard work and commitment they – and all our award winners – demonstrated is extraordinary.”
Hundreds of thousands of learners across the globe have completed BTEC courses over the past year. The career-focused qualifications are a vital route for those pursuing careers in sectors such as IT, business, the creative industries, healthcare, engineering, construction and future industries. Many of these industries, such as health and social care, engineering, and IT and computing, are suffering from chronic staff shortages and skills gaps, which this year’s cohort of graduates – whether they were award winners or not – will be more than equipped to fill.