Skills achievements of Barnsley and Sheffield teenagers recognised at prestigious Awards ceremony

Published Wednesday 6 March 2019 in Barnsley, Sheffield

Parents listening to the Master Cutler at the BLBW 2019 Awards Ceremony

Over 130 Year 11 students from Sheffield and Barnsley schools were recognised for their achievements on an employment skills programme at a prestigious awards ceremony hosted at the Cutlers’ Hall, Sheffield, on 27 February.

The students, who had all completed a two-year Better Learners Better Workersprogramme, were each awarded a Skills Passport certificate for developing skills identified by employers as essential for success in the work place. Each Skills Passport certificate outlined what the student had achieved on the programme in order to provide evidence for study and job applications.

Fifteen students were singled out for an extra award, Gold Ambassador or Highly Commended, to recognise outstanding progress, innovation and all round excellence.

The Better Learners Better Workersprogramme is supported by employers, giving young people aged 13-16 a rich experience of the world of work and vital insight into career opportunities. A unique feature is the focus on specific employment sectors important to the local and regional economy, including engineering, healthcare, digital industries, construction, arts and culture, and emergency services.

The programme was founded by the Cutlers’ Company, a regional association of major manufacturing and engineering employers. The current Master Cutler introduced the Awards by addressing the young Ambassadors: “Believe in yourselves, where you go from here now is very much up to you. I was the first person from my family ever to go to university, and that’s not because my parents or my grandparents didn’t want to go, they just didn’t have the opportunity. Opportunities now abound for you.”

The Better Learners Better Workersprogramme is supported in Sheffield by the City Council. Addressing the young Ambassadors, Councillor Gary Drabble, Cabinet Adviser for Education and Skills, said: “I and my colleagues at the Town Hall are very happy to be supporting this event because it’s about the future. Not only is it an event about the future of our city, because you are the future of our city, but it’s also about your future. By participating in this programme and passing as you have done now, you have shown what you can achieve.”

In Barnsley, the scheme is supported by Barnsley Healthcare Federation. James Barker, Chief Operating Officer, said: “This programme has allowed the Barnsley Healthcare Federation to work with young people, schools and local employers to help develop Barnsley’s next generation. As an added bonus to our own organisation, we hope to encourage young people to seek careers in the NHS, not just as doctors and nurses, but in the wide variety of careers available.”

The evening concluded with presentations by two Gold Ambassadors from the programme, Sofia Braithwate from Horizon Community College, Barnsley, and Ellena Darlington from Outwood Academy City, Sheffield, who demonstrated their confidence by addressing such a large gathering of people.

Gold Ambassadors 2019


Innovation                  Sofia Braithwaite (Horizon CC)

Progress                      Fiza Malik (Firvale)

Outstanding – JOINT   Jack Rushforth (Holy Trinity)/Scarlett Pickford (Westfield)

Highly commended     Nihad Ibrahim (Firvale)


Progress                      Darcy Swallow (Horizon)

Digital Industries:

Innovation                  Daniel Boden (All Saints)

Progress                      Katie Broadhurst (All Saints)

Outstanding                Leon Martin (Westfield)

Highly commended     Amber Edwards (Westfield)

Fire and rescue:

Progress                      Elisa Graham (Outwood Academy City)

Outstanding                Demi Smith (Outwood Academy City)


Innovation                  Victoria Dudek- (The Dearne)

Progress – JOINT         Scott Batty (Horizon CC) / James Lycett (Mexborough)

Outstanding                Keenan Haigh  (Park Academy)

Highly commended     Blake Dennis (Outwood Academy City)

Better Learners Better Workers