The remarkable accomplishments of two former Blackpool Sixth students were celebrated today when they were awarded prestigious BTEC Learner of the Year awards for 2022.

Emily Checkley has been named Public Services Learner of the Year and Bethany Bradford won the Travel and Tourism Learner of the Year Award.

An additional four former Blackpool Sixth students received recognition for their excellence when they received Bronze Awards.

Blackpool Sixth has an amazing track record in these awards and in 2020 it was awarded the overall BTEC College of the Year award.

This year, Emily Checkley’s amazing achievements stood out among an international field of candidates and wowed the judges, who felt that, since the start of her journey in Public Services, Emily has displayed an outstanding approach in everything she does.

The judges said, “Her passion for the Fire Service was inspiring, and the quality of her work has always been exemplary, promptly delivered and of the highest standard. Not only that, but outside her classwork, she won several local awards for her commitment and work ethic and been nominated as the best Fire Cadet in Lancashire!”

Emily Checkley, Public Services Learner of the Year, said: “I feel very honoured to be given this award and it makes me more excited about my career in the uniformed public services. I have loved the past 2 years and feel that I am fully prepared for the journey ahead. I am eternally grateful to the college for giving me the foundations for my new life in uniform.”

Bethany Bradford’s remarkable achievements in her BTEC Level 3 Travel and Tourism course helped her stand out in an international field of candidates. The judges, who felt her unquestionable commitment to her course was incredibly impressive. They said, “Rarely does someone showcase such passion, drive and exemplary work from the first day of the course while still pushing hard to better themselves throughout, notably in public speaking.

However, she never fails to act as a role model to others too as she helps them with advice and starting their own careers. Her approachable persona, wider extracurricular responsibilities and remarkable commitment set her in great stead for what will surely be an exciting and successful future.”

Bethany Bradford, Travel and Tourism Learner of the Year, said: “I would never have dreamt of winning this award, but here I am! Travel and Tourism is an engaging and enriching subject which I have developed a deep passion for. The varied content, trips, visits, guest speakers and supportive teachers have confirmed that this is the path I want to take. I have secured a job as cabin crew with EasyJet, and I can’t wait to see where the course will take me in the future.”

Stacey Bibby, Travel and Tourism Teacher at Blackpool Sixth Form, said: “Beth is the 5-star, all inclusive, full Travel and Tourism package! She is a concoction of calm, charm, conscientiousness, confidence and charisma. Beth has been an absolute pleasure to teach and will be a very welcomed treasure to our industry.”

Freya Thomas Monk, Senior Vice President for Vocational Qualifications and Training at Pearson, said: “After two long years spent giving or receiving lessons behind a computer screen, through face masks, or socially distanced, 2022 has been a whirlwind for everyone involved in education. Considering this, it makes the inspiring achievements documented in Emily’s and Bethany’s submissions all the more impressive. The hard work and commitment they – and all our award winners – demonstrated is extraordinary, and I am proud we are able to recognise them all through this year’s set of Awards.”

The judges also commended the efforts of four other Blackpool Sixth students who achieved remarkable success in their fields.

Bronze Awards went to:

  • Blackpool Sixth Form College’s Jordanna Williams for BTEC Sport Learner of the Year 2022
  • Blackpool Sixth Form College’s Leah Howard for BTEC Public Services Learner of the Year 2022
  • Blackpool Sixth Form College’s Erin Hallam for BTEC Child, Health and Social Care Learner of the Year 2022
  • Blackpool Sixth Form College’s Cameron Brookes for BTEC Sport Learner of the Year 2022

Hundreds of thousands of learners across the globe have completed BTEC courses over the past year. The career-focused qualifications are a vital route for those pursuing careers in sectors such as IT, business, the creative industries, healthcare, engineering, construction and future industries. Many of these industries, such as health and social care, engineering, and IT and computing, are suffering from chronic staff shortages and skills gaps, which this year’s cohort of graduates – whether they were Award winners or not – will be more than equipped to fill.