Inspirational event recognises achievements of young people in West Midlands

December 23rd, 2019

Young people aged 16-24 have been presented with awards for their inspirational achievements with Skills Training UK at an uplifting event, hosted on December 12. More than 80 youngsters from across the West Midlands, many of whom had overcome personal barriers or previously struggled at school, were recognised for their hard work and progress to achieve qualifications through our BTEC courses and vocational Traineeship programmes.

The Celebration of Success event, hosted at the Quality Hotel in Dudley, recognised all young learners from our centres in Walsall, Dudley, Wolverhampton, Birmingham and West Bromwich.

One of the most emotional award wins of the day went to 25-year-old Jerome Hohn who collected the Outstanding Achievement Award for Walsall. Jerome faces a range of learning difficulties and, despite having limited English and maths skills when he first joined Skills Training UK, he has worked hard to overcome barriers and secure a bright future. As well as improving his confidence and communication skills, Jerome is also enjoying his first ever work experience placement at a local Morrisons supermarket.

Jerome said: “I’ve been at Morrisons for a few months and I already feel part of the team there. I’d like to thank Skills Training UK and all the tutors for their fantastic support, I’ve made lots of new friends and feel like I have more confidence now. I’m really happy and proud of myself. My award is sitting proudly in my living room!”

Heidi Pickrell, one of Jerome’s mentors at our Walsall Centre, said: “Jerome has been our superstar! He has flourished during his journey with us and has really excelled, we’re all very proud of him.”

Other award winners included 20-year-old Sian Smith for her achievement on a Traineeship programme at our Wolverhampton Academy, 18-year-old Connor Stevenson from Dudley for his achievement in BTEC Customer Service, and 21-year-old David Mohan from Birmingham for improving his skills in English. Around 20 awards were presented in total.

Certificates were also presented to referral partners such as Jobcentre Plus, and local businesses who have provided work experience placements and employment opportunities to help the young people take their first steps on the career ladder.

Shantelle Johnson-Wiltshire, an employment advisor at Walsall Council, was among the local business partners presented with a certificate by Skills Training UK.

Shantelle, who also read two inspiring poems at the event, said: “It’s been great working with Skills Training UK – I can’t sing their praises highly enough. We have a strong relationship with their team and I will continue to refer young people to them because they really progress and move them forward to positive destinations.”

During the event, some learners showcased their newfound confidence by speaking to the audience about their journey with Skills Training UK, as well as performing songs and poetry.

Graham Clarke, Director of Education and Social Mobility, Skills Training UK, said: “Our Celebration of Success events in the West Midlands are always so uplifting and emotional, and this year was no exception. It was fantastic to see so many young people receive recognition for the huge progress and remarkable achievements they have made since joining us, as well as hearing inspirational stories of learners who have found success and taken their first steps into the world of work.

“It was also a great opportunity to recognise our vital partnerships with referral agencies, as well as local businesses who provide meaningful work experience and employment opportunities for learners. Thank you and well done to everyone who attended this special event.”

We provide Level 1 and Level 2 vocational BTEC courses for 16-18s, sector-specific Traineeship programmes for 16-24s, and Fast-Track Traineeship programmes for young people looking for a quicker route into an Apprenticeship. Young people are also supported to achieve GCSE-level qualifications in English and maths, helping them to progress into employment, further education or an apprenticeship. We have Academies for Business, Industry and Technology in Birmingham and Wolverhampton, and Training Centres in Dudley, Walsall and West Bromwich.

To find out more about our courses for 16-24s in the West Midlands, email IgniteYourSuccess@skillstraininguk or click here for contact details of each local centre.

Photo caption: (L-R) Jerome Hohn collects his award for Outstanding Achievement with Skills Training UK Walsall mentor Heidi Pickrell. 

Photo caption: Shantelle Johnson-Wiltshire, employment advisor at Walsall Council, read two inspiring poems to young learners at Skills Training UK’s Celebration Event.