Solihull College sweeps the stage at Peter Jones Enterprise Academy Graduation

Solihull College has been celebrating this week as staff and students swept the stage with a series of honours at the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy Graduation Ceremony.

Held in Birmingham’s Symphony Hall on Thursday (19th July) and attended by hundreds of guests from across the country, the ceremony recognised the success of students from various Peter Jones Enterprise Academies who have recently completed the Diploma in Enterprise & Entrepreneurship.

They were all congratulated on their achievements at the Ceremony by Dragons’ Den star Peter Jones CBE, as well as special messages from Lord Sugar, Robbie Williams, Gary Lineker, Deborah Meaden, Theo Paphitis and Duncan Bannatyne.

Two students from the West Midlands Hub at Solihull College, Nick Bannister and Ravinder Deol, were among six individuals who impressed Peter Jones CBE with their outstanding business ideas so much, that he awarded them with the honour of being Ambassadors of the Academy for the forthcoming year.  And in a surprise announcement, he revealed that they will be accompanying him to Buckingham Palace in October to meet the Duke of York, who becomes the Royal Patron of the Peter Jones Foundation.  They also received a brand new Samsung Galaxy SIII.

18-year-old Ravinder from West Bromwich also received the Entrepreneur Academy Award in recognition of his overall contribution to the course and dedication to achieving success.  He comments: “I am so happy to receive these two honours and incredibly proud of what I’ve achieved over the last year at the Academy – it has made my journey complete.”

15 students from the Academy at Solihull College graduated this year, with more than half achieving the highest grade possible – double distinction double star.  One of these included Beth Smith, who was specially chosen to be Student Speaker at the Ceremony and represent all students from the Academy.

In addition to the College’s students scoring success, staff member Kate Angel was crowned Business Enterprise Manager of the Year, an award sponsored by Grant Thornton.  The award came as a complete shock to the 30-year-old, who was recognised for her outstanding enthusiasm and dedication to the Academy.  Alice Barnard, Chief Executive of the Peter Jones Foundation, commented: “Kate eats, sleeps and breathes the Academy, she is always willing to pitch in, and she truly makes the experience happen for the students.”

Kate, who has been in post for just one year, comments: “I am absolutely thrilled to receive this award.  Since I started my role as Business Enterprise Manager I’ve met lots of amazing people including some extremely talented young entrepreneurs and inspiring business people.  I look forward to working with a new cohort of students next year and helping them to achieve their business dreams.”

For your chance to be part of this September’s intake visit or call 0121 678 7000.

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About AoC West Midlands

AoC West Midlands promotes and supports the interests of 43 general further education, sixth form and specialist colleges throughout the West Midlands region. The West Midlands is a diverse region and our colleges reflect this diversity. From small specialist colleges in rural locations to large inner city establishments, colleges reflect the needs of their local environment. Working closely with employers, learners and the local community, our 43 member colleges offer a broad range of flexible learning opportunities for individuals at all levels. They aim to give local people the skills they need for success and prosperity, tackling barriers to learning and providing opportunities that meet the needs of individuals and employers
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