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Elizabeth builds on her success with national award

Elizabeth’s parents joined her too for the celebration awards

A construction student from West Nottinghamshire College has been recognised as Outstanding BTEC Construction Student of the Year 2017 at the BTEC Awards.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Construction and the Built Environment student Elizabeth Findlay took to the stage at a glittering ceremony in London on Thursday (6 July) at the Royal Horticultural Halls, following a lunch reception in Parliament with MPs from across the political spectrum.

She was nominated by tutors for her energy and enthusiasm throughout her studies. Tutors highlighted her as a role model for other students by promoting successful women in construction and she has delivered a speech to over a hundred people about her role within construction.

Elizabeth, from Ripley in Derbyshire, has been successful in achieving distinction star grades and is passionate about building design and surveying, and thrives when working on creative projects at college and has secured triple distinction star for her overall course work.

She’s won several awards during her time at college including a sustainable design project which was judged by a member of staff from the University of Derby. And in 2016 she was selected by college principal Dame Asha Khemka for the principal’s award followed by this year being awarded student of the year for construction at the college’s annual awards ceremony.

Elizabeth, 20, said: “I can’t begin to describe how privileged I feel to be awarded BTEC Construction Student of the Year. I always strive for the best and to be recognised in such a way gives me an immense feeling of pride.

“I couldn’t have achieve this without the constant help and support of my tutors I am so grateful – they are both amazing.

“In September I hope to attend The University of Derby to study construction management and property development, as well as work for my current employer Keepmoat Homes as a construction trainee site manager.”

Meanwhile, fellow extended diploma learner Ben Talbot, 21, scooped the highly-commended award for his dedication to his studies. His passion for learning sees him achieving consistently high grades in assignments and is on track to receive triple distinction stars before studying a degree in structural engineering at The University of Derby.

It’s the second consecutive year that a student from West Nottinghamshire College has secured the prestigious Construction Student of the Year award. Last year Samuel Bispham took the trophy for the amazing journey he took since struggling at school with dyslexia and moving to study at the college at the age of 14.

Winners were applauded at the ceremony by the BBC television presenter and journalist, Steph McGovern, after almost 1,000 applications were made to this year’s judging panel. Other awards were presented by education and business leaders, including Peter Jones from BBC TV’s Dragon’s Den and Richard Atkins CBE, the government’s FE Commissioner.

Lynsey Hanson, curriculum manager for building services at the college, said: “We’re immensely proud that one of our learners has won this award for a second year running, and having another learner presented with highly-commended is truly amazing.

“It just shows that dedicated staff who are passionate about subject and their learners can really push students to be outstanding. Lizzie was so deserving of the award for her consistent hard work and dedication to achieve in a predominantly male-dominated industry.”

Rod Bristow, Pearson’s President in the UK said: “The fantastic winners being celebrating at today’s award ceremony exemplify the dedicated students across the country who have been helped to make progress in their lives and careers through BTEC and I am delighted to congratulate them on their well-earned success”

“BTEC provides a proven pathway, not just to a job, but to a career – whether that be directly, or via university. BTEC combines knowing with doing, practical with academic. It is the most highly regarded career-focused qualification in the world. This helps to explain why almost a quarter of new university entrants now start with at least one BTEC, and why BTEC is growing strongly internationally.”