For the second year running a student attending CECAMM at The Isle of Wight College has won the national title of ‘BTEC Engineering Learner of the Year’.

The College’s CECAMM facility opened in 2017 and continues to go from strength to strength, providing high quality education and training for students in engineering, including composites, advanced manufacturing and marine. This year’s award winner, Caitlin Marsh Brown, is studying BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Engineering.

This is wonderful news and I am delighted for Caitlin – it is great to see how much she has developed and grown in confidence since joining the College in September 2018. I am equally delighted that our students are recognised as being among the best in the country.

Debbie Lavin CBE, Principal of The Isle of Wight College

Caitlin overcomes adversity every day in that she lives with severe and complex language and communication difficulties, however, this does not prevent her from excelling in all aspects of life and from producing distinction level course work.

Congratulations Caitlin 🏆🥳

I am so proud of Caitlin – she is an excellent example to all of us, of what can be achieved when you focus your mind, no matter what challenges you may face.

Caitlin’s tutor Keri Hughes, Engineering Curriculum Lead

When Caitlin first joined CECAMM she rarely participated in class activities and did not feel able to speak out in front of others. However, with patience, time and support from her tutors and peers, Caitlin has overcome her fears and now confidently participates in class – she even gives advice and guidance to others who may be struggling. Caitlin also supports the College during open days where she enjoys interacting with visitors, confidently telling them all about CECAMM, her course and what it involves, and helping to recruit the next generation of young engineering enthusiasts.

On hearing that she has won the national competition Caitlin Marsh Brown said:

The award means so much to me as someone with speech and language difficulties, dyspraxia, anxiety and fine and gross motor difficulties. This shows that anyone can overcome challenges and achieve amazing things.

Caitlin Marsh Brown, BTEC Engineering Learner of the Year 2020

In her spare time, Caitlin supports the local community and has volunteered for several organisations including the Donkey Sanctuary and Girl Guides, and has raised money for Sports Relief. Caitlin also enjoys outdoor sports such as horse riding, kayaking and surfing, and has joined the Special Olympics where she competes in multi sports including swimming, bowls and athletics. In early February this year Caitlin travelled to London to compete in a Special Olympics Badminton Competition where she won two Silver Medals.

The 10th annual BTEC Awards ceremony was live streamed on Thursday 25th June. Cindy Rampersaud, Senior Vice President BTEC and Apprenticeship, said:

This year I’ve been overwhelmed by the quality of BTEC Award nominations we received and I am delighted to celebrate this year’s winners and the achievements of all learners who will be awarded a BTEC this year.  Over the past few weeks and months, we’ve seen how the current pandemic has highlighted the critical role of key workers and individuals who are likely to have followed a vocational educational pathway such as BTEC.

Cindy Rampersaud, Senior Vice President BTEC and Apprenticeship

Pearson has overseen BTEC qualifications for over 30 years and during this time the qualifications have equipped millions of learners with the knowledge and practical skills that employers need. A poll by Pearson found that two-thirds of medium-sized businesses have hired BTEC graduates in the last five years, and nearly a quarter of learners going to university do so with a BTEC. An overwhelming majority of employers and young people want to keep their options open at 16 and gain the blend of academic, practical and transferable skills that BTEC provides that are so valued by industry and employers.

In response to new careers emerging within industries and ongoing change, Pearson is continually adapting and innovating its BTEC curriculum and learning to ensure it is relevant for young people and adults – supporting progression and career aspirations throughout lives.

The recently launched BTEC qualification in esports, in partnership with the British Esports Association, is a major step forward in supporting the creation of long-term careers in the growing esports industry both in the UK and internationally.   In addition, Pearson’s BTEC partnership with Liverpool Football Club, announced earlier this month, will enable learners in international markets to acquire the expertise, skills and knowledge required for careers in the rapidly expanding global sports sector.


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