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The Corporation

Posted: 08/07/16

Sam's a champion student

A construction student from West Nottinghamshire College has won an outstanding student award at the National BTEC Awards.

Sam with host Gemma Cairney from Radio 1 and Ralph Saelzer, managing director of Liebherr

Thursday night’s event (7 July), which celebrates achievement in the country’s most widely-taken vocational qualification, saw 21-year-old Samuel Bispham take to the stage to collect the Outstanding BTEC Construction Student of the Year award.

The awards, now in their sixth year, recognise the nearly one million students around the country who are studying BTEC qualifications this year.

It was hosted by Radio 1 Presenter Gemma Cairney at the Royal Horticultural Halls in London and attended by the winners, their families and teachers as well as stakeholders from the education and business worlds.Dragon’s Den judge, and BTEC champion, Peter Jones also presented the award for Business and Enterprise Student of the Year via video link.

Ahead of the awards ceremony, the winners, their family, friends and nominators attended a Parliamentary reception in the House of Commons.

Samuel was nominated for the journey he has taken since struggling at school with dyslexia and moving to study at West Nottinghamshire College at the age of 14.

It was at West Notts College that he realised his passion for construction and joinery and he decided to stay at college and continue to study on the BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Construction.

Alongside his studies, he’s also played a vital role in volunteering opportunities at the college, including a project which involved designing and constructing a curved entrance to a library at a local school. Sam has become an integral part of class activities, usually taking a leading role and encouraging his peers to participate.

He has already secured both a university place to study project management and a job as a trainee site manager at a local company, which allows him to incorporate real world experiences into his studies and share these insights with his peers.

Samuel said: “I never imagined I’d be considered for such an award. It has truly been an honour and will be a day I never forget.”

President of Pearson in the UK, Rod Bristow, said: “BTEC is a high-quality and demanding qualification with those in possession increasingly sought after by universities and employers. This year’s judges were impressed by the quality and number of nominations we received but Samuel really stood out as a truly exceptional student and deserves a huge congratulations.”