Tuesday, 28 June 2011

BMW technician named West Midlands VQ Learner of the Year

Chris Hinton is congratulated by Minister of Further Education,
Skills and Lifelong Learning, John Hayes MP

A BMW technician has been named VQ Learner of the Year 2011 for the West Midlands . Chris Hinton who works at the BMW engine manufacturing plant at Hams Hall was selected by a panel of education experts as a stand out winner, representing the very best of the country’s vocational talent.

The 22-year-old completed an apprenticeship at Birmingham Metropolitan College and is now studying an Electrical Engineering Systems Degree with Aston University . He is also a member of the Education and Skills Panel for Engineering UK where he has a proactive role advising and informing the panel of ways to widen engineering industry opportunities among young people.

The VQ Learner of the Year Awards were part of VQ Day, a national celebration of the people who gain vocational qualifications. VQ Day aims to raise awareness about the benefits of vocational qualifications and training and recognises the role that vocational learning plays in society and in the UK economy.

“As a former apprentice and vocational learner who carried on training, I was delighted to be named VQ regional winner,” commented Chris from Walsall .

“The awards represent just a fraction of the millions of learners who benefit from apprenticeship schemes and vocational training in order to achieve their career goals, so I feel privileged to have received this recognition.”

Peter Mitchell, interim CEO at independent education foundation Edge and a member of the judging panel, added: “We are delighted to be able to reward Chris for his outstanding achievements on his course. There are many paths to success and we hope that by recognising those who have used their vocational qualification to achieve their goals, more people will become open to the very real benefits of vocational study.”

Colleges, learning providers and employers around the country nominated their high-flying vocational students for the VQ Learner of the Year Awards, recognising their achievements and celebrating their success.

Nearly 200 learners were nominated in total, with nominations judged by a panel comprising of representatives from Edge, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Association of Colleges and Westminster Kingsway College .

BMW Plant Hams Hall will be opening its doors to careers advisors on 29 June as part of a joint Government-industry drive to showcase careers in manufacturing and promote the opportunities available for future apprentices. For further information, contact Lucy Healey on 01675 460635.

For more information about VQ Day and the VQ Learner of the Year Awards, please visit http://www.vqday.org.uk/.

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