A STUDENT has received a regional award in recognition of her outstanding work while studying for a vocational business qualification.

Helen Carr has been named the North-East winner for the VQ Learner of the Year Award 2014.

She began studying for a Business Administration qualification at Bishop Auckland College with no office experience - but soon impressed tutors and colleagues with her hard work and professionalism.

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This resulted in her securing an apprenticeship with an international employer and allowed her to progress on to a level four apprenticeship at the age of just 18.

She is now in with a chance of winning the VQ Learner of the Year Award for England, which celebrates the best vocational learners across the country.

Miss Carr will be invited to a ceremony in Westminster on June 3 where she will be presented with her regional award by Matthew Hancock MP, minister of state for skills and enterprise.

The overall winner will also be announced.

She said: "I'm thrilled to have been chosen as the North-East regional winner for the VQ Learner of the Year Award 2014.

“Completing a vocational qualification has given me the skills and drive to pursue my career and I'm delighted that this nomination has recognised my hard work.

“There are so many different training opportunities to choose from and I would highly recommend vocational learning to others."

VQ Day, which takes place on June 4, is an annual event led by independent education charity, the Edge Foundation.

It aims to celebrate the benefits of technical, practical and vocational learning, not only to the individual but also to the UK economy.

Jan Hodges, CEO of the Edge Foundation, said: “Helen is a great example of how technical, practical and vocational qualifications can be the catalyst for a successful and fulfilling career. We wish her the best of luck ahead of VQ Day and in the future.”