'Extremely proud': Coastal college celebrates engineering students

Engineering students East Coast College Duke of Edinburgh bronze awards

Engineering students at East Coast College with their Duke of Edinburgh bronze awards. - Credit: East Coast College

Engineering students at a coastal college have been honoured during a special celebration.

A total of 77 East Coast College students from the Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth campuses completed their bronze Duke of Edinburgh Awards during the last academic year.

And on Monday they were presented with their awards on behalf of the Queen at the Energy Skills Centre in Lowestoft.

Their hard work was recognised by the Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, Clare Countess of Euston, who joined the college’s chief executive and principal, Stuart Rimmer, to present their certificates and badges.

Commending their efforts, the Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk said it was a “real achievement” and their hard work was a “sign of their quality for what they will achieve in the future.”

Her words were echoed by Mr Rimmer. He said: “All of these students have had such a disruptive couple of years with Covid, and it is so important that we celebrate their achievements.

“When students come to college they get three things; the skills and qualifications they need, progression for the future and the chance to develop their character and wellbeing.

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"And I think the Duke of Edinburgh award enhances students’ main academic qualifications and provides them with something extra and worthwhile to talk about when they go for interviews or meet employers.

"It’s that volunteering and teambuilding activity which helps them really stand out.

“So to be able to achieve this in a period where they have all faced extra challenges is very impressive and as a college we are extremely proud of them.”

The Duke of Edinburgh programme is led by East Coast’s engineering lecturer, Peter Read, who explained how the students had completed first aid training as part of the award as well as a fire safety inspector certificate.

They also completed expeditions from both campuses walking to Kessingland, Hopton, Burgh Castle and Corton, carrying a backpack full of supplies to set up camp and cook a hot meal before returning back to college.

Many of the students who took part in the programme have now gained apprenticeships or gone straight into full-time employment.

The Duke of Edinburgh award is growing year on year at the college, and this year more than 100 students have signed up to complete their bronze, silver and gold awards.