Exceptional individuals receive Birmingham Metropolitan College Fellowship accolade

16/12/2014 by

Fellowship Awards have been presented to education, business and industry figures at Birmingham Metropolitan College's (BMet) Higher Education Awards Ceremony. 

The title of Fellow is an accolade awarded to individuals as a mark of recognition for an exceptional contribution made to the College over a period of time. 

Commenting on the Fellowship Awards, Principal, Andrew Cleaves said: “Our Fellows are individuals who all truly embody our ethos and values and have made a lasting impression on the College. By sharing their expertise and industry resources, they have promoted the crucial, collaborative role between further education and industry; a role which is instrumental in future-proofing the careers of our current and graduating students. 

“On behalf of college students, staff and the governing body, I congratulate them all and offer my thanks for their much-valued support and continuing friendship.” 

Stephen Booth, Country Manager at leading dental implant company, Straumann UK was named a BMet Fellow for providing outstanding support for the College’s medical directorate by introducing cutting–edge dental equipment to enable students to further develop their skills.  He also facilitated master classes where Straumann experts passed on their knowledge to students and staff.   This has been instrumental in driving the development of the professional dentistry centre at the College’s Mathew Boulton Campus, by facilitating continuous professional development training days for dental practitioners from across the country. 

Joining Stephen is Allan Ovington, Regional Sales Manager at Worcester Bosch Ltd, who has been the driving force behind the collaboration with the College to develop programmes that train exceptional, customer-focused engineers at the Advanced Technology Centre, Brierley Hill. Since 2003, programmes of study have been developed that provide progression pathways from apprenticeships through to our higher education courses.  With Allan’s close supervision of recruits and his personal nurturing of learners, more than 80% of those who were trained with the College under this scheme, are still employed by the company today. 

Les Ratcliffe, Head of Community Relations and Corporate Social Responsibility, Jaguar Land Rover was recognised for his work alongside colleagues from the College for almost three years to launch the “Inspiring Tomorrow’s Workforce” programme. The programme has focused on helping young people who may not have had a successful experience of learning at school, re-enter an educational environment and secure the skills that will enable them to have fulfilling careers in the manufacturing and engineering sector.  Les has also been a driving force behind the “Young Women in the Know” programme, which has aimed to positively promote the engineering sector as one in which young women aged between 11 and 18 can see a future career. 

The fourth BMet Fellow of 2014 is James Villarreal, Managing Director of utilities and telecoms company, Glide UK.  Since its inception, Glide UK, which was the brain child of James whilst still a student himself, has been a major supporter of the BMet Enterprise Academy.  James not only gives up his time to sit on the Academy’s Board but continually hosts students in his business, giving them real world work experience and valuable mentoring opportunities. 

Going a step further, James has recruited nine BMet students as full-time employees as part of his commitment to recruit his workforce from all types of background and educational experience.  He continues to provide inspirational leadership to college students and is dedicated to helping nurture the region’s future entrepreneurs.  

The BMet Fellowships were launched by the College in 2011, with the first Fellowship awarded to owner and director of Court Collaboration and Roar, Anthony McCourt. 

Over 200 higher education students from the College graduated from a number of diploma, foundation and full honours degree programmes during a ceremony held at Birmingham Symphony Hall. 

Keynote speaker was social entrepreneur, Justice Williams MBE who gave an empowering speech encouraging people to dream, believe and achieve, as well as invest in lifelong learning, so that others would invest in them.