Adrian is NI Learner of the Year

Picture: Michael Cooper
Picture: Michael Cooper

Dungiven lad Adrian Canning, a student from North West Regional College’s Greystone Campus in Limavady, has recently been crowned Northern Ireland Learner of the Year at the Vocational Qualification (VQ) Awards 2012.

Employment and Learning Minister, Dr Stephen Farry, made the announcement during the annual VQ Day awards ceremony in Parliament Buildings, Stormont. It’s a UK-wide celebration of the achievement of the millions of vocational learners every year, which recognises and celebrates the value of vocational qualifications.

Adrian, an electrician with RMG Electrics in Limavady, completed City & Guilds qualifications at levels 2 and 3 in electro-technology at North West Regional College. He has won gold medals in Skillbuild NI electrical competitions and won the Skillelectric UK final in 2011, and has also secured a place in the Squad UK team at Worldskills 2013 in Leipzig, Poland.

The 19 year-old explained his delight at receiving this prestigious award: “I feel very honoured to have won this award, especially given the standard of the other students from across Northern Ireland. But I must thank my Lecturer Keith Wade who has really pushed me on throughout my time at NWRC – after all he was the one who nominated me for the award. He motivates me a lot and keeps believing in my skills here at the College. I hope I can continue to work hard in my future career.”

Adrian’s lecturer Keith Wade paid tribute to his skilled ability and application to his studies.

“It’s such a pleasure to work with Adrian – he is very talented, skilled and committed. Everyone connected with our College is delighted for him, and believe that he has the ability to progress to even bigger successes in the future.”

Speaking at the award ceremony Dr Farry also stressed the importance of vocational qualifications to the local economy.

“Vocational qualifications have a pivotal role to play in ensuring that Northern Ireland has a better skilled, modern and dynamic workforce to drive our economy forward.

“The finalists are an embodiment of the flexibility of vocational learning in the workplace. They demonstrate the power of learning to change and improve lives, and the value of qualifications to employers, to ensure that their employees have the right skills for the job.”