Students at the top performing college in the country have been celebrating vocational results day.

Gateshead College has been marking the occasion (August 14) with some of its successful students who are now heading to prestigious universities, starting their careers or have secured apprenticeships after following a technical route at college.

One Gateshead College success – Kieran Dye, achieved an overall Distinction on his Live Events Production course and is now progressing to the world-renowned Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), London, to study Production Arts.

Another student, Luke Deas, has achieved overall Distinction * on his business course and will be studying study Accounting and Finance at Durham University in September.

Luke said: “I’m so pleased with my results and I can’t wait to start my degree. The best thing about studying at Gateshead College is the teachers and their support and encouragement. They are really amazing and make sure that you reach your full potential.”

Vocational programmes including BTECs are specialist work-related post-16 qualifications taught and awarded in colleges. They provide more practical, hands-on training and can lead to university, an apprenticeship or straight into work.

Chris Toon, deputy principal at Gateshead College, said: “Our students are the biggest asset at Gateshead College and I’m really proud to have been celebrating their achievements today. Their success is testament to their hard work and commitment as well as our dedicated staff.

“If there is one way to bust the myth that vocational courses are for those less academically-minded, it’s seeing young people go on to secure places at some of our best universities, take up well paid, highly skilled and technical jobs or start an apprenticeship.

“Vocational courses are a serious alternative to the more traditional, academic A Levels, giving young people many career options once they’ve successfully completed. We’re seeing more and more young people and their parents recognising the value of these qualifications.”

Gateshead College has seen a big jump in applications for vocational courses, up more than 30 percent year-on-year and is expecting its highest intake of new students this September of recent years.

In 2019, Gateshead College was ranked the best performing college in England for post 16 education and vocational training.