A young Co Armagh man has won a national title after lifting the BTEC Award for Public Services Student of the Year.
Nineteen-year-old Matthew McCabe said he was “thrilled” at winning, describing it as a “great achievement” for himself.
The Lurgan student was presented with the prestigious national education award at a ceremony at Central Hall Westminster in London.
He won the BTEC Award for Public Services Student of the Year in recognition of his achievement in his chosen subject.
The award was presented by Andy Gillman MBE, from the MoD Education Outreach Programme.
Matthew has just completed the two year BTEC Level 3 in Public Services course at Southern Regional College’s Banbridge campus.
Spanning 24 categories, the eighth annual Pearson BTEC Awards were hosted by financial journalist and TV Presenter Steph McGovern, and showcased the fantastic contributions made by students and young people studying for BTECs.
The ceremony was attended by the winners, their families and teachers as well as leading stakeholders from the education and business worlds.
An expert panel of 52 judges carefully considered each nominee before deciding upon a winner.
Pearson has been the guardian of BTECs for over 30 years and during this time the qualifications have facilitated the training of work-ready candidates with the knowledge and practical skills that employers need.
These hands-on vocational qualifications continue to be respected as a valuable route straight into employment, and into employment via university.
Matthew has had an interest in Public Services since a very young age. He began his BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Public Services course a year after completing his GCSEs.
He is also a volunteer for Craigavon Young Carers Group and has shown a true understanding of team work and leadership.
Rod Bristow, President of Pearson in the UK, said: “I want to offer my congratulations to Matthew for winning this award. The judges were hugely impressed by the quality of nominations this year and this is a fantastic achievement. The BTEC Awards are one of my favourite events of the year.
“They are a wonderful celebration, not just of the outstanding winners themselves, but of the value of the BTEC qualification to employers and universities around the world.”
Matthew, meanwhile, added: “During the two years of my course at Southern Regional College I have gained a lot of knowledge and many new skills that I will use in my future career.
“I am taking a year out from my studies this year but I hope to progress to a Degree in Criminology in the future.
“I would like to thank all my Public Services lecturers who encouraged and supported me throughout my time at Southern Regional College”
Elizabeth Hudson, Course Coordinator from the Southern Regional College said: “We are delighted that Matthew has won the BTEC Public Services Student of the Year Award 2018. Matthew is a very worthy win and has always displayed amazing talent and skill throughout his studies at Southern Regional College.
“From the outset of Matthew indicated that he was determined to pursue a career in Public Services and has demonstrated many of the qualities needed to succeed in this field.
“We are so proud of his achievement and wish him well for the future.”