Preston Vocational Centre celebrates award-winning construction stars

Posted on - 14th July, 2022 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Avenham, Education, People, Preston City Centre, Preston News, Proud Preston
Mick Higgens, James Smallshaw, and Martin Grayston

A local training centre has thrown an awards night to celebrate the successes of students learning construction skills.


On 5 July, Preston Vocational Centre (PVC) awarded trophies and a fully equipped tool-set to the students – who received their City and Guilds qualifications, with some gaining special awards for their outstanding work in particular trades.

PVC provides hands-on opportunities in different construction areas, including plastering, joinery, decorating and brickwork.

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PVC Awards

Rob Wakefield, Chief Executive of Community Gateway Association, said: “Congratulations to each student for achieving such fantastic results.

“You should be proud of everything you have achieved. Well done to your PVC teachers, who are totally committed.

“When the lockdowns happened, and they were unable to teach, they took to the streets helping Gateway deliver food to vulnerable people.

“As soon as they were allowed, they launched a new blended learning programme for their students.”

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Wakefield said the pandemic was challenging, but PVC ‘kept going’ due to partnerships they developed with local schools and businesses.

Centre Manager Martin Grayston said: “I would like to congratulate all our students who have worked hard this year and gained a recognised qualification.

“It’s great to see so many of our young people gaining new skills, grow in confidence and progress onto an apprenticeship, job or further training.

“It is the most rewarding part of my job. I am proud of each one, as I am my team, who work hard to support everyone who comes through our door.

“It’s been an extra special academic year for us, having won the prestigious Be Inspired Business Awards (BIBAs) 2021 for Educational Establishment of the Year, which gives us the reassurance that we are delivering training to the highest level.”

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His words were echoed by Mick Higgins, Chair of the Board, who presented the trophies.

Mick, the founder of local company XAcom, also paid tribute to the organisations that supported PVC.

The 2021-22 student winners were:

  • Student of the Year Award – James Smallshaw, sponsored by Conlon Construction
  • Best All Round Ability – Harkin McCauley, sponsored by David Wilson Homes
  • Best All Round Ability – Paul Fisher, sponsored by Community Gateway Association
  • Most Improved Student – Alex Sumner, sponsored by Travis Perkins
  • Volunteer of the Year – Dave Pauley, sponsored by Sika
  • Outstanding Achievement in Brickwork – Finn Kelly, sponsored by Persimmon Homes
  • Outstanding Achievement in Plastering – Mathew Child, sponsored by JFN
  • Outstanding Achievement in Plumbing – Mathew Todd, sponsored by XAcom
  • Outstanding Achievement in Joinery and Carpentry – Warren Wright, sponsored by CCH Joinery
  • Outstanding Achievement in Painting and Decorating – Tyler Wickham, sponsored by Seddon

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