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West Notts pupil on the road to success

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A West Notts student has been namedthe East Midlands regional winner for the VQ Learner of the Year Award 2014.

Melissa Jackson scooped the honour in recognition of her outstanding achievement whilst undertaking Hospitality and Professional Cookery vocational qualifications.

Melissa has worked hard to establish herself as a talented chef-in-training, presenting an array of impressive dishes, served during her apprenticeship in the college’s restaurant, ‘Refined’.

Speaking about the award, delighted Melissa said: “I’m thrilled to have been selected as this year’s VQ Learner of the Year for the East Midlands. Vocational qualifications have given me the skills and drive to pursue my career and I’m delighted that this nomination has recognised my hard work.

“There are so many different training opportunities to choose from and I would highly recommend vocational learning to others.”

“The great thing about vocational courses is getting to do theory and practical, so you learn both sides of the job. I enjoy putting what I learn in lessons into practice in the kitchens and seeing how my dishes turn out.

“I’ve loved my time at West Notts and my tutors have been fantastic. My apprenticeship at college is going great and I love working in its restaurant, Refined, which has given me an idea of what the industry is like.”

Melissa will be invited to attend an awards ceremony in Westminster on the 3rd June 2014 and her award (sponsored by OCR) will be presented to her by Matthew Hancock MP, Minister of State for Skills and Enterprise. The overall winner for England – VQ Learner of the Year - will also be announced at this event.

“I’m now looking forward to starting the next chapter of my learning journey at the School of Artisan Food in September. My ultimate goal is to work in artisan bakery and specialise as a pâtissier.”

It is the third time in four years that the East Midlands winner has hailed from West Nottinghamshire College, after engineering apprentice Leanne Cooke and professional cookery student Joseph Johnson, both from Mansfield, claimed the honour in 2011 and 2012 respectively.

Held on the 4th June 2014, VQ Day is an annual event led by independent education charity, the Edge Foundation. It aims to celebrate the benefits of technical, practical and vocational learning, not only to the individual but also to the UK economy. From 16-year-olds to those over 60, VQ day celebrates the acquisition of new skills and encourages parity of esteem between high quality vocational qualifications and academic ones.

Jan Hodges OBE, CEO of the Edge Foundation, says: “Melissa is a great example of how technical, practical and vocational qualifications can be the catalyst for a successful and fulfilling career. We wish her the best of luck ahead of VQ Day and in the future.”

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

She has has demonstrated a determination to learn and grow in her chosen field, supplementing her education with an Open University course in Human Nutrition and securing a bursary to study with the prestigious School of Artisan Food, specialising in historic and artisan food production techniques.

Melissa is now in with a chance of winning the prestigious VQ Learner of the Year Award for England, which celebrates the best vocational learners across the country.

Melissa will be invited to attend an awards ceremony in Westminster on the 3rd June 2014 and her award (sponsored by OCR) will be presented to her by Matthew Hancock MP, Minister of State for Skills and Enterprise. The overall winner for England – VQ Learner of the Year - will also be announced at this event.

 

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