Peter Roberts Bursary Winners Announced

Collab Group and the Skills Network are delighted to announce Laura Black and Oskar Wilson as the winners of the 2021 Peter Roberts Bursary award.

The Peter Roberts bursary consists of two awards each of a value of £2,500 to support two students from the end of their college education into self-employment or higher education.

The Peter Roberts Bursary celebrates outstanding achievement in the further education sector. This year we are pleased to announce Laura Black of Belfast Metropolitan College and Oskar Wilson from Chichester College as the winners.

Oskar and Laura both embodied the spirit of the award by demonstrating tremendous resilience in overcoming adversity as well as a strong commitment to learning and skills development.

The quality of applications this year was very high so in addition to congratulating the winners, we would also like to thank everyone who applied. The determination and courage shown by so many of the applicants is truly inspiring and we wish all applicants great success as they embark on the next stages of their learning journeys and careers.

This bursary has been set up to honour the memory of Peter Roberts. Peter was an outstanding Principal of Stockport College and the Leeds City College as well as a former Chair of Collab Group. Known throughout the further education sector as a warm, humorous and dedicated professional totally committed to the success of his students. The sector was deeply saddened at his untimely death only weeks after his retirement. The Skills Network and Collab Group wanted to recognise Peter's unique contribution to the sector by supporting an annual award to two students who reflect the outstanding work of the sector.

Ian Pretty, Chief Executive at Collab Group said: “Congratulations to Oskar and Laura for winning this year’s award. Both winners have demonstrated great determination in the face of adversity and their stories ae truly inspiring. The quality of applications this year was exceptionally high, so I want to thank everyone that applied and wish them great success for their future careers.” Peter McCann, Chair of the Skills Network said: “The Skills Network is delighted to once again be partnering with Collab group to celebrate outstanding achievement in honour of Peter Roberts. A huge congratulations goes to Oskar and Laura for winning this year’s award. Both students have worked exceptionally hard, demonstrating their commitment to learning with their inspiring stories. Wishing you both great success in the future.”

Oskar Wilson, the winner from Chichester College said: "I am just honoured and totally blown away to receive this support. The support from this bursary will allow me to start my full degree course at Greater Brighton Metropolitan College. With and the tools and equipment I need for the next steps on my career progression. I will also be able to fully commit to any professional work placements I get.”

Louise Warde Hunter, said: “I would like to congratulate Laura on behalf of Belfast Met on receiving this award due to her commitment, determination and hard work. This is an outstanding achievement, and we are very proud of Laura who has persevered with her studies during the last challenging eighteen months. I would also like to commend the staff at Belfast Met who have supported Laura throughout her studies.”

Shelagh Legrave CBE, Chief Executive of Chichester College Group, said: "I am particularly delighted that Oskar has been selected for this award. I worked closely with Peter Roberts, who was an inspiring further education college principal and to whose memory the award is presented."

Sally Garner-Gibbons, Production Arts & Technical Theatre Apprenticeship Programme Manager at Chichester College, said: "Oskar is one of the most determined and positive students I have ever met. He had to work so hard, harder than most, to achieve what he did while studying with us - and he did so with a wide smile and positive attitude. He applied himself to achieving his goals every day, never losing sight of his dreams. He's a real role model and represents everything that we stand for in the Production Arts team at Chichester College."

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