Blackburn College Win Armed Forces Award 2017

Blackburn College Win Armed Forces Award 2017

Blackburn College have been recognised in the North West Armed Forces’ Awards 2017 for developing young talent and encouraging future aspirations within the Armed Forces.

The ‘Developing Young Talent’ award marks a significant year and celebrates the strong links between Blackburn College and the Armed Forces.

Held at the British Muslim Heritage Centre in Manchester, the Armed Forces’ Awards celebrate those in the community who support and engage with the Armed Forces.

In September, Blackburn College held a special event to mark the signing of a covenant with Army Headquarters North West, the 4th Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment and the 3rd Medical Regiment, which enables students to access reservist opportunities whilst studying, developing their skill sets and enhancing employability.

Craftsman Matthew Robinson studied Level 1 and Level 2 Maintenance and Repair Specialist courses at Blackburn College before passing his basic training and entering the Vehicle Mechanic trade with The British Army.

“Blackburn College equipped me with the skills and knowledge to progress into Vehicle Mechanics,” Matthew said.

“Studying before I entered The Army really helped with my confidence and subject knowledge.”

Paul Sharples, Industry Links Manager at Blackburn College said: “It is through partnerships such as this that students gain invaluable experience of external environments, in preparation for employment and life after college.

“Over recent months we have developed strong links with the Medical core and have already enjoyed a number of activities including a catering challenge, which the students have enjoyed and benefitted from immensely.

“Events such as these are an ideal opportunity for students to work together, developing key leadership and team work skills, whilst within challenging environments.”

In October, students studying Motor Vehicle Level 1 and 2 tested their soldiering skills at the Army Engineering Challenge, at Altcar Training Camp.

Working with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineerers, students were tasked with building vehicle bolts and emergency rafts, and working as a team to winch a stranded Land Rover out of a sand dune.

Tutor Craig Midgely, who served with the REME for 16 years said: “Employability is a key focus at Blackburn College and we work closely with over 3,000 employers* to provide students with relevant and valuable work experience.

“The Engineering Challenge was a fantastic way of showing the students what opportunities are available to them within the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.”

Blackburn College are proud partners of the British Army and offer a variety of courses that provide students with key employability skills for a career within the Armed Forces. We have a number of courses starting in January 2018, at A-Level, Apprenticeship and Degree Level - to find out more visit

Representing Blackburn College at the Awards were Nicholas Hall (Business Engagement Manager) and Paul Sharples (Industry Links Manager).

See all Blackburn College Public Services courses.


29 Nov 2017, 14:34 PM

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