Ballymena student wins National Career Academy UK Award
Jordan Hunter, a student from Northern Regional College (NRC), Ballymena, has won the ‘Sir Winfried Bischoff’ Student of the Year Award from the Career Academies UK programme.
Jordan, who attends NRC’s Engineering Career Academy, became the overall UK winner at the national finals in London in May. Jordan was presented with a plaque and certificate and will soon embark on an all-expenses-paid trip to the USA where he will meet with some of New York’s top employers and Career Academies UK’s sister organisation the National Academy Foundation. As Jordan has decided to progress to university, he will also receive £500 a year towards his costs.
Employment and Learning Minster Dr Stephen Farry said: “I congratulate Jordan on his achievement and notably he is the first student from Northern Ireland to achieve this Award. I commend the ongoing work of the Further Education Colleges and Career Academies UK in providing these opportunities for students to help bridge the gap between education and work. These work experience opportunities improve students’ employability skills and therefore improve their employment prospects. Employers also report that engaging with a Career Academy has enhanced their own staff development which in turn benefits our local economy.”
A Career Academy is a programme that prepares students for the world of work. The model focuses on linking students to employers through masterclasses, mentoring, workplace visits and internships. Career Academies UK provides this structured programme and support to the schools and colleges around the UK who operate Career Academies.
Bill Watson, Careers Academy Manager at NRC, said: “We nominated Jordan for this award as we have seen first-hand his transformation throughout the programme. He is a true inspiration to existing and future students. Jordan was thinking of dropping out of education before he switched to study engineering at Northern Regional College. He has achieved a lot over the past 2 years which has included working with Hutchinson Aerotech, Antrim, on his work placement alongside his mentor Michael Sherratt, Production Manager at the company. Outside his college work Jordan has also been involved in the setup and running of FOCUS which is a suicide awareness charity. He is now working with Hutchinson Aerotech as a process engineer manufacturing aircraft components, and plans to study a University of Ulster Foundation Degree part-time with NRC starting September 2014.”
Judging panels across the UK selected the Regional Winners of the Award, named after former Lloyds Banking Group Chairman and former Career Academies UK Chair Sir Win Bischoff, recognising those students who have made the most progress on their two year journey. Each of the regional winners attended an interview in London in April before the national winner was announced.
Mark Hutchinson, Managing Director, Hutchinson AeroTech said: “I would like to congratulate Jordan on winning this award. His journey over the last two years has been nothing short of inspiring and it is credit to Jordan and NRC’s hard work and determination that he has received this prestigious award. He is an inspiration to other students and work colleagues.”