Business Secretary Vince Cable, Joseph Johnson and Rt. Hon Lord Baker
Joseph in the kitchens with fellow student Rebecca
Joseph sharing some of Forest Ferret's produce with Councillor Keith Walker and Inga Walker
A West Nottinghamshire College catering student has spoken of his joy at receiving an award for being the East Midlands’ VQ Learner of the Year.
Joseph Johnson, 19, from Mansfield, has just completed his Level 2 Diploma in Professional Cookery and has dreams of working in America.
Joseph beat off competition from across the region to scoop the East Midlands award at The VQ Learner of the Year Awards held on 20 June at London’s prestigious BAFTA Venue.
Now in its fifth year, the awards form part of VQ Day - an annual celebration of people who gain vocational qualifications every year in the UK. The event aims to raise the status of technical, practical and vocational learning and the value vocational qualifications bring to learners, businesses and wider society.
Joseph was nominated by tutors for his leadership of the college hospitality team’s enterprise project The Forest Ferret, which now sells its own range of jams and preserves in outlets across Mansfield and Ashfield.
Joseph’s contribution to The Forest Ferret company resulted in him being hand-picked by the college to attend an evening reception of the London Entrepreneurial Exchange, where, along with eight other students, he got tips on what it takes to be successful in business from some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the country.
In addition to the commitment he has demonstrated to The Forest Ferret, Joseph has always excelled in his studies and is dedicated, professional and supportive of his fellow learners.
Regional winners were presented with their awards at the event by former Education Secretary Lord Baker, Chairman of independent education charity Edge Foundation, and Rt. Hon Dr Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Joseph said: “It was an absolutely amazing experience and I was quite awestruck when I went up to the stage to collect my award.
“There were so many people at the event from all across the country all with very interesting stories of success and achievement.”