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Vocational students will play vital role in economy - Minister 29 June 2009

The Trade and Industry Minister has spoken of the vital role Isle of Man College vocational students will play in boosting the Manx economy.

David Cretney MHK was speaking to an audience of 260 guests at an awards evening held to celebrate the success of vocational students from the areas of engineering, agriculture, construction, learning services, health and social care, hospitality and catering, office administration, retail operations and art, design and media.

Guests from the Government, the College board of governors, industry and commerce joined the 65 award winners and their families to enjoy the evening. Award winners ranged from the 14-16 age group through to mature students already working in industry. Minister and Daniel Jacobs

Giving the opening address, the Trade and Industry Minister said that in the current economic climate, it was more important than ever to recognise the value of training and education and the essential role it plays in upskilling the workforce in order that the Island can compete globally and internationally.

In her keynote speech, Education Minister Anne Craine MHK noted the achievement of the students who will go on to play a major role in running the services and businesses of the Isle of Man. These students are great ambassadors for the Island and, through their studies and associated events, achieve many outstanding results, of which we are proud, said the Minister.

The Minister spoke of the many inter-departmental initiatives the College was involved in with. These attracted employer engagement and enabled standards to be raised and maintained within various industries.

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the three Manx awards. The first acknowledged the most outstanding student in the 14-16 age group. The College has been working collaboratively with the five secondary schools, offering national qualifications in vocational areas, for eight years. The worthy recipient of the Manx Telecom 14-16 Award for Outstanding Learning was Olivia Rowe, a hair and beauty student from Ramsey Grammar School. She was presented with her award by Mike Loundes, Director of Communications at Manx Telecom and a member of the College board of governors.

The Education Minister presented the Most Outtanding Vocational Student Award to Daniel Jacobs, who is studying engineering and works for Swagelok.

A new award, the Isle of Man Bank Award for Teamwork within the Community, recognises the sterling work that goes on in the community week by week by staff and students from the College, much of it to support local charities. John Lindon, the bank's Community Investment Manager, presented the award to office administration staff and students in recognition of their work with many charities over the years on fund raising events.

The students were recently awarded second place in the Island's Charity Challenge, which resulted in a cheque for £3,500 for the Koru Koguta Hospital fund in Kenya.

Guests joined award winners for an excellent buffet in the College Restaurant provided by the hospitality and catering staff and students.

Mary Wilson, Assistant Principal of the College and Director of Vocational Education and Training, thanked all those who participated in and supported the evening, especially the major sponsor of the event, the Isle of Man Bank, and Mr Lindon.

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