Lakes College students’ achievements have been marked at two celebration events.

The learner and apprentice awards evening celebrated students who were handpicked as finalists by their tutors for their hard work and positive attitudes.

Sian Gabbidon, winner of BBC’s The Apprentice, joined the ceremony as guest speaker.

She gave a speech on her own time in further education and how it helped to shape her pathway into business and entrepreneurship.

Sian also discussed her experience on The Apprentice, and what it is like to work alongside business tycoon Lord Alan Sugar.

Some of the awards presented on the evening included: English and maths Learners of the Year, Exceeding Expectations Award, Outstanding Contribution Awards and Apprentice of the Year.

Jasmine Scaife, a level three business administration apprentice working for Kaefer, won the exceeding expectations award. She said: “It was a really enjoyable night. I was already over the moon to be shortlisted and wasn’t expecting to win – I was shocked when they said my name. I’d like to thank my training officer Nicola for always being there for me, and pushing me to do well.”

Nicola McMullen, training officer, said: “Jasmine has far exceeded the expectations and requirements for both her course and job. We have received excellent feedback from both the Lakes College team and Jasmine’s manager and colleagues who say her work is produced to a very high standard.”

The second event was the higher education graduation ceremony which celebrated 166 learners from the college who successfully graduated from their programmes this year.

Jamie-Lee Robinson received the college’s higher education special achievement award, presented by Mike Priestley, Chair of Governors.

He said: “Jamie-Lee embodies the very essence of what it takes to be a HE student. He’s committed, motivated and dedicated to improving his practice through further study and has achieved his teaching qualification at the highest level.”

David Walker, who was graduating from his foundation degree in nuclear engineering gave a powerful speech to end the ceremony.

He said: “As the first in my family to ever consider higher education, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but I have treasured every part of it. Not only have I found what I am capable of, but I made a new family - a family, who have helped me through my transition from a soldier to what I am today.”

Chris Nattress, College Principal, said: “We are very proud of all of our students, who have gone above and beyond with their hard work and dedication to their subject areas.

“Attending the events made me feel both proud and honoured to represent our students, and I wish them all the best of luck for the future.”