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Former B&FC student wins BTEC Engineering Learner of the Year

Published on 15/12/2022 by ECOOK


In the world of education, coming back as an adult after years away in the midst of a global pandemic is probably as daunting as it gets. But for Elizabeth Willis, 38, it was the perfect first step towards her dream career as a Telecommunications Engineer.

Elizabeth attended our graduation ceremony in July 2022 and, finally wearing the cap and gown she always wanted, accepted her HNC qualification in General Engineering.

Speaking at graduation, Elizabeth said “While the course had its challenges because I suffer massively with Dyslexia and because of COVID, the tutors were friendly and you could contact them if you needed help. It’s done wonders for my confidence and academia”.

This is why Blackpool and The Fylde College is delighted to announce that, despite these challenges, Elizabeth has also received the BTEC Engineering Learner of the Year Award.

Awarded by Pearson, the Learner of the Year Award recognises the hard work and dedication from students, teachers, colleges and schools across the country. With only one winner chosen for each subject, the competition is fierce.

Pearson’s senior vice president, Freya Thomas Monk, added, “after two long years of lessons behind a computer screen, through face masks or socially distanced, 2022 has been a whirlwind for everyone in education. Considering this, it makes the achievements documented in our winners’ submissions all the more impressive”.

However, it has to be said that while we are undoubtedly edging closer to professional equality, being a woman in STEM continues to carry its own challenges. Blackpool and The Fylde College are passionate about introducing more girls and women into STEM subjects. Having developed an exceptional reputation for its STEM courses, including being a STEM assured institution, B&FC is proud to have an impressive cohort of female students in subjects ranging all the way from aerospace engineering to marine biology.

Elizabeth, who completed her HNC to Distinction standard, puts her success down to determination and support from the tutors. Upon accepting her Learner of the Year Award, she said, “As someone who has always struggled academically, I never thought I would complete my HNC, let alone win an award. By winning this, it is proof that with hard work and determination, you really can achieve anything.”

Elizabeth has now landed her dream job as a Telecommunications Engineer with BT and says she couldn’t have done it without her course at Blackpool and The Fylde College.

One of her tutors, Nicole Dean, said, “We are so proud of Elizabeth for winning BTEC Engineering Learner of the Year. She first started with us on the adult Level 3 fast-track course and was initially very apprehensive about returning to education. Her hard work and determination have clearly paid off and she has now secured a very well-earned role as an engineer with BT. These awards mean so much to us as a College, especially when they are won by adult learners like Elizabeth. It really shows that anyone can achieve if they put in the hard work and have the fantastic support and facilities like Elizabeth has had within our Engineering team.”