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BMet Fellowships recognise industry support for local students

John Druce, Learning and Development Manager at Arqiva, Craig Errington, Chief Group Executive at Wesleyan and Lucy Healey, Training Specialist at BMW Group UK (Hams Hall engine plant) have received Fellowships to recognise their exceptional support for thousands of students across the UK.

Commenting on the Fellowships, BMet Principal, Andrew Cleaves said: “Our honorary awards are presented to individuals that have been the driving force behind initiatives to inspire and train others for the world of work.

“This year’s Fellows played a pivotal role in providing crucial industry skills to those in school, college and the workplace. The opportunities they have created have resulted in many young people and graduating BMet students finding careers that fulfil their ambitions.

“On behalf of the college students, staff and the Governing Corporation, I offer my congratulations and sincerest thanks to them for being such outstanding advocates for learning and professional development.”

John Druce was named a BMet Fellow for his instrumental role in creating a bespoke Foundation Degree in Electronic and Communications Engineering for apprentices at Arqiva. The training programme focused specifically on the technical skills required by the organisation’s broadcast engineers who are responsible for maintaining the infrastructure behind the UK’s terrestrial broadcast network and a wide range of satellite broadcast and data communications services.

The successful delivery of the degree by BMet resulted in Arqiva receiving an apprentice employer of the year award at the National Apprenticeship Awards (South East region), with the organisation now in the running for the national award.

Joining him is Craig Errington, who has ensured Wesleyan, the specialist financial mutual, has taken the development and career progression of young people and professionals to the heart of its recruitment and HR policy. Wesleyan was one of the first employers in the financial services sector to launch an apprenticeship scheme, with more than 50 young people joining the programme since 2010.

He has also supported business and finance professionals in the making by encouraging his colleagues to deliver workshops, mentoring, one-to-one career support and work experience to local students.

The third Fellow, Lucy Healey was regarded a role model to those delivering Apprenticeships for the manufacturing and engineering sector. She demonstrated a continued commitment to ensuring apprentices at BMW Plant Hams Hall achieve the very highest standards, while enjoying a fulfilling learning experience.

Lucy’s Fellowship also recognised her work on the BMW Group Girls Go Technical programme supported by BMet. This encourages young women to spend a week at one of BMW Group’s UK manufacturing locations (including Plant Hams Hall), completing a technical training programme which opens them up to the many career opportunities within manufacturing and engineering.

The Fellowship awards were presented at BMet’s Higher Education graduation ceremony held at Birmingham Town Hall. Over 160 higher education students from the College graduated from a number of diploma, foundation and full honours degree programmes.

Barrister, Tariq Sadiq was guest speaker at the ceremony. He spoke of how he challenged the stereotypes presented to him as a young man, achieved success at university, gained a scholarship and pupillage and is now applying to be a QC. His final words to graduates were that with hard work and dedication, you will succeed.

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