Vocational excellence has been celebrated at Nelson and Colne College as students showcased their skills and invited guests to “have a go” as part of this year’s national VQ Day.

VQ Day, which is led by independent education charity Edge Foundation and supported by leading players in the vocational education community, is now in its eighth year and aims to recognise the importance of vocational qualifications and the benefits of practical, technical and vocational learning.

Nelson and Colne College has a diverse range of vocational programmes on offer, from Catering and Hospitality, to Childcare, to Engineering, to help students on their next journey – whether that be beginning a career, going to University, or starting an advanced apprenticeship.

Many of the College’s alumni have gone on to see huge success in their chosen field, and on Wednesday a number of activities were held across the College to highlight the work and achievements of vocational students.

To begin the celebratory day, highly successful butler Wayne Fitzharris spoke to students about his career – encouraging them to work hard and always follow their dreams. Other activities included a VIP guest being treated to a facial, hot stones massage and shampoo and blow dry in the College’s Beauty and Hairdressing departments, an interactive crime scene set up by Science and a “sneak peek” of Art and Design students preparing for their “End of Year Show”.

Business students talked to guests about their start-up business ideas, including an app where users can take a picture of word in a different language and have it translated for them – the brainwave of Adil Hussain (17) and Suhaib Haider (17) – and Sport students enjoyed a victory over Blackburn College in a local derby game on NCC’s state-of-the-art 3G pitch.

Principal Amanda Melton said: “A vocational qualification is as rigorous a qualification as academic study and if you know what you are interested in then it is the perfect way to get you on the right career ladder.

“You can enjoy yourself and study a subject you are really passionate about, while getting a qualification that is the equivalent of three A Levels.”

Students also spoke of their experiences at NCC as part of VQ Day and encouraged anybody thinking of taking the vocational route to come to the College and “have a go”.

Level 3 Art and Design student Rachel Paiton (19) said: “We have been given the opportunity to do a lot of commissions outside of College, work closely with the local community and explore a variety of different areas within Art and Design. I didn’t know what area I wanted to specialise in before doing a vocational qualification at Nelson and Colne College, but I now know I want to do graphic design.”

And Level 3 Business student Hamza Rashid (16) added: “By doing a vocational course you can learn a lot of skills you never thought you would learn. The teachers are good and they help you through your course and your assignments.”

For more information on all the vocational courses available at Nelson and Colne College visitwww.nelson.ac.uk/index.php/sixth-form/vocational-programmes or contact 01282 440272.

See the Nelson and Colne College Sixth Form Facebook page for a slideshow of pictures from the event.