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The former skipper of the rugby team was among a wealth of special guests who attended the day’s events, which were part of nationwide celebrations held to mark the achievements of learners who have completed vocational qualifications. He presented certificates to more than 30 JHP learners in an afternoon awards ceremony.

Others who joined in the festivities were representatives from the Army, Gloucestershire College, Connexions, Gloucestershire Youth, the Learning Skills Council and GHURC, who held a Careers Fair to highlight the prospects and opportunities available to people who want to follow a vocational learning route.

Opening the event, JHP Gloucester Business Centre manager Karen Probyn said, “Every year the successes of GCSE and A-level students are nationally recognised and celebrated but, until today, the achievements of those who have chosen to follow a vocational learning path have gone unsung. The aim of National VQ Day is to change that and JHP Training is proud to join in with those celebrations.”

The day also included a series of activities for learners on JHP’s Entry to Employment (E2e) course. One learner said, “The whole day has been such good fun. My friends are all talking about getting their A-Level results in a few weeks and I thought I would be really left out, but collecting my certificate today has made me so proud of everything I have achieved and I’ve got a lot of useful information about where I can go when I leave JHP.”

Event co-ordinator Denise Northedge added, “Our first ever VQ Day could not have gone better. The turn out and support from JHP’s partnership organisations and all of our guests has been fantastic; the staff and learners have loved the day and we’re already looking forward to next year. Special thanks must also go to Andy Deacon at Raging Bull Sports Management for providing us with our guest of honour, Peter Buxton. Having a local hero recognising their achievements was a real boost for the learners!”