Amadou Bah from NESCOT College in Epsom was named VQ Hero - Young Learner of the Year 2009 for the South East at the National VQ Day event in London.
The VQ Hero Awards are the culmination of the VQ Day celebrations, which recognise vocational achievement and the many paths to success taken by learners of all ages. The Awards demonstrate the talent, commitment and rigorous standards involved in gaining a vocational qualification.
Amadou was invited to attend the national VQ Day event for England, which was held at Hackney Community College in London. The event was hosted by celebrity chef James Martin, who presented Amadou with his award.
Amadou was selected by the judges for his dedication to vocational learning and huge success in his chosen field. Amadou started his course knowing very little English but just six months later was elected class representative and had taken a voluntary position with the local council to improve his language skills and employability. Amadou is currently studying for a National Diploma in Business and is applying to City University to begin a degree in Politics and International Relations. A key member of the National Learner Panel, Amadou has also worked with ministers and policymakers, feeding to various changes in government policy around issues such as apprenticeships.
On receiving news of the award win, Amadou said:
“It’s such an honour to be named as the VQ Hero – Young Learner of the Year for the South East. My vocational qualification has helped me to achieve so much already, and I’m really proud to be able to highlight the benefits of vocational learning and join in the VQ Day celebrations with the millions of others who gain vocational qualifications every year.”
John Kerr, operations director at independent education foundation Edge and a member of the judging panel, added:
“It’s an absolute pleasure to be able to honour someone like Amadou. He is a fantastic example of the progression and opportunities that vocational qualifications can offer, living proof that there are many paths to success and an inspiration to us all. Amadou is one of the millions who take a vocational qualification every year as a stepping stone to a brighter future – VQ Day celebrates these learners’ achievements and those who help them gain this success.”
Colleges, learning providers and employers around the country nominated their high-flying vocational students for the VQ Hero Awards in two categories:
- VQ Hero - Learner of the Year
- VQ Hero – Young Learner of the Year
Over 400 learners were nominated in total, with nominations judged by a panel comprising representatives from Edge, Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, the Association of Colleges and the Association of Learning Providers.
For more information about VQ Day and the VQ Hero Awards, please visit www.vqday.org.