A Nelson and Colne College student has scooped two prestigious national accolades at the tenth annual BTEC Learner of the Year Awards – including the overall adult learner prize.

Vocational Business student Marium Shafique, 21, from Nelson, was named winner of the BTEC Business and Enterprise Learner of the Year Award and the BTEC Adult Learner of the Year Award 2020 during a virtual ceremony on Thursday.

Marium was recognised by judges as a stand-out leader in her peer group and was praised for her ambition and focus, which has led to exceptional results. Her work outside the classroom was also acknowledged, including voluntarily supporting elderly people to improve their IT skills.

Her story is one of continuous progress, after arriving in the UK from Italy in 2015 as a 16-year-old with limited spoken and no written English skills. Marium has since achieved ESOL, GCSE and Level 1 qualifications and imminently is set to achieve Triple Distinction* in Level 3 BTEC Business – the highest possible grade – enabling progression to a leading business school at Lancaster University.

Marium has also developed her learning of real-world business through her employment outside of College, and has combined her shop floor experience to classroom theory to produce brilliant assignments worthy of Distinction grades.

Marium said: “I’m thrilled to win these awards. Achieving this is a huge accomplishment for me because it reflects my hard work throughout my years at College and the passion that I have for Business.

“Studying a BTEC has developed me personally and professionally in so many ways. Learning business language has developed my wider English skills and it has raised my aspirations and reshaped my career goals.

“I’m grateful for the opportunities the course has given me and hopefully my success will open new doors for me in the future.”

During her studies, Marium enjoyed a successful Business Administration work placement at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust and was her class representative. She actively took part in discussions in class and asked questions to enhance her knowledge on visits such as a trip to the Morrisons Distribution Centre in Wakefield.

After university, she has an ambition to work in the banking and finance sector.

Marium’s Business tutor Keren Morley said: “Marium is unlike any other student I have ever taught, and is way beyond her years. She is so charismatic and confident, and she maximises every opportunity she gets. Her interpersonal skills are remarkable and she stands out from peers for her independence, professionalism, leadership and maturity.

“Marium understands the importance of risk and being open to new opportunities, and these, combined with her many other key qualities, will serve her well in the business world. I have no doubt that she will be a high achiever and enjoy a successful career.”

Amanda Melton, Principal of Nelson and Colne College Group, said: “I’m absolutely delighted for Marium – she has shown a tremendous attitude to progress at College, and a real commitment to developing her skills with opportunities inside and outside of the classroom.

“Her natural entrepreneurial flair has really shone throughout her course, and my congratulations also go to the fantastic teaching team who have supported Marium’s success.

Marium’s success in the national BTEC Awards comes 12 months after former Nelson and Colne College student Dominika Bzdon was named as the national BTEC Sport Student of the Year in 2019.

Nelson and Colne College is one of the leading colleges nationally across a range of academic measures – 16-18 classroom learner achievement, 16-18 Advanced Apprenticeship timely achievement, A Level progress and GCSE Mathematics and English progress.

Nelson and Colne College is also the number one college in the country for student satisfaction.

Applicants looking to apply to Nelson and Colne College still have the time. Visit www.nelson.ac.uk or contact the Admissions Team on 01282 440272.