Dyer Engineering, Apprentice Reece Taylor has been named as the 2015 winner for the Student of the Year award by the Association of Colleges (AoC).
The Association of Colleges (AoC) represents over 300 colleges and the Student of the Year Award competition aims to highlight outstanding student achievement, while celebrating the amazing success stories so common to the further education sector.
The award was presented by international designer John Rocha at AoC’s Annual Conference and Exhibition in Birmingham on 18 November, in front of a crowd of 100’s in Birmingham.
Graeme Parkins, Dyer Engineer MD said “We have been immensely proud of everything Reece has achieved with his WorldSkills exploits, but for him to receive this award is the cheery on top of the cake. I’m immensely proud that a representative of our exciting company in County Durham has developed into the best student in the country”
Reece left school with no qualifications and was determined to find a vocational trade that suited him. After trying tree surgery and construction, Reece attended taster courses at Derwentside College aimed at students not in education or training. From day one of entering the welding department, it was clear that Reece had a natural talent for fabrication and welding, a talent that tutors had never seen before from someone so young. His dedication and skills led him to excelling, and soon became an apprentice with a prestigious engineering company.
In 2015, Reece completed his advanced apprenticeship with flying colours and also won a Medallion of Excellence, finishing in the top ten percent of competitors at WorldSkills Sao Paulo 2015. During WorldSkills, Reece unfortunately endured a broken bone in his hand, to which he is now receiving hospital treatment, but despite the pain, he continued through four gruelling days of the competition to receive a Medallion of Excellence.
Reece has become an ambassador to his fellow students and the college, helping other students who are struggling, and speaking to prospective students at open evenings and community events. He does this whilst undertaking an extremely busy day job, training at College for his Advanced Apprenticeship, competing in events for WorldSkills in the UK, Ireland and France, and being a father to a young family.