Published: 8 July 2021
Belfast Met lecturer Craig Gibson was delighted on hearing the news that two of his Creative Digital Media Production students have been recognised in a prestigious national competition by winning silver and bronze BTEC Learner of the Year awards this year. Their outstanding BTEC results due to hard work and dedication despite personal challenges, was celebrated yesterday at the national awards ceremony.
This is the eleventh year of the BTEC Awards which was co-hosted by presenter of the United View, YouTube influencer and BTEC alumnus and ambassador, Flex and sports presenter and events host, Gemma Care. 19 category award winners were celebrated from around the UK and internationally in subjects such as Health and Social Care, Performing Arts, Engineering, IT, Business and Sport.
BTEC alumni including Academy Award-winning producer and Head of Film and Animation at ScreenSkills Gareth Ellis-Unwin, entrepreneur and founder of SB.TV Jamal Edwards MBE, and award-winning actress Lucy Fallon were among those also presenting awards.
This year the BTEC Awards ceremony was streamed to a global audience for the second year. 2021 is an extra special year for the awards as it demonstrates the exceptional resilience of learners and teachers who have achieved, despite the challenges of studying and delivering courses during the pandemic.
Louise Warde Hunter, Principal and Chief Executive at Belfast Met, confirmed: “I would like to congratulate Ashlyn and Jolene on their outstanding achievements during this very challenging year. Two of our learners winning awards in this category demonstrates the high standard of work that our students produce and the excellent quality of teaching that they receive.
“During these difficult times in the creative media industry the staff at Belfast Met’s Film & Television School has ensured that the students have had a similar experience to previous years in developing the necessary skills for industry. Our vocational courses have a crucial role to play in filling skills gaps that employers are looking for.”
Jonathan Ledger, Skills Specialist at The Department for International Trade commented: “I must emphasise the importance of BTEC as a career-focused type of qualification and that for me is key. This is all about delivering the right skills to the right people at the right time in the right way and BTEC qualifications do just that. For me, BTEC qualifications are a game changer. They change lives and they help people improve and contribute to business and society in a big way. A huge congratulations once again to all the winners and all of the nominees.”
Twenty year old Ashlyn Spence from Newtownards (now living in Belfast), was awarded the BTEC Awards 2021 Silver Certificate for BTEC Creative Media Learner of the Year, said: “This award means a lot to me as it signifies how far I've come in the two years since I started studying creative media. At the start I was so unsure of what the future held and where I wanted to be. Now I know I'm on the right path and am doing something I love.
“My lecturer Craig Gibson who was our course coordinator for my second year has been wonderful. During the pandemic he made sure that we were getting the most out of the course that we could when we couldn't meet in person and made sure we were on the right track.”
Jolene Fegan, 20, from Newry who received a Bronze Certificate in the same category, added: “I’m so thankful for this award, it means so much since I was worried the pandemic would affect my learning, especially with such a hands-on course. It was such a fun year, and all the hard work is definitely paying off as I’ll be off to Uni in September! My lecturer has been the most helpful throughout this year and I really appreciated how he encouraged questions and group discussions and helped through any challenges I faced.”