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The exceptional achievement of Safia Merabtene, from Waltham Forest College, was celebrated at the BTEC Awards this year as she was awarded the prestigious bronze BTEC Award for Sport.

Safia Merabtene, aged 17, was recognised by teachers and peers for her continuous hard work and dedication throughout studying for the qualification. Her proactivity, passion, tenacity and willingness to help and support others led to outstanding BTEC results.

Safia’s commitment to creating her future at Waltham Forest College was celebrated at the tenth anniversary of Pearson’s annual BTEC Awards hosted online on 25 June 2020 at 2pm.

Safia commented: " I’m very grateful for winning this award and being the first student in the sports cohort at my college to ever be nominated. This means a lot to me as I know I can achieve what I put my mind to.

“This has motivated me even more to work even harder to achieve my goals. I’m very thankful for my teachers nominating me and giving me this chance to create my future and gaining a better chance of university’s accepting me.”

The 2020 BTEC Awards comprised of 17 categories and was hosted by the presenter of the United Stand, YouTube influencer and BTEC Ambassador, Flex, with awards presented by Double Olympic Gold medallist Max Whitlock as well as actress and former BTEC Drama student at The BRIT School, Kellie Shirley. The expert panel of judges made up of Pearson’s senior leadership team, journalists and external experts, carefully considered the nominees before deciding on the winners. 

Commenting on Safia’s achievement, Head of Sport, Ambica Sanger: “We're all hugely proud of everything Safia has achieved here at the College and it's so inspiring to see how much she gets out of all of her hard work and how generous she is in offering help to her peers. We look forward to seeing where all of her efforts take her in life.”

Cindy Rampersaud, Senior Vice President BTEC and Apprenticeship, said: “This year I’ve been over-whelmed by the quality of BTEC Award nominations we received and I am delighted to celebrate this year’s winners and the achievements of all learners who will be awarded a BTEC this year. Over the past few weeks and months, we’ve seen how the current pandemic has highlighted the critical role of key workers and individuals who are likely to have followed a vocational educational pathway such as BTEC.”

Pearson has overseen BTEC qualifications for over 30 years and during this time the qualifications have equipped millions of learners with the knowledge and practical skills that employers need.

A poll by Pearson found that two-thirds of medium-sized businesses have hired BTEC graduates in the last five years, and nearly a quarter of learners going to university do so with a BTEC. An overwhelming majority of employers and young people want to keep their options open at 16 and gain the blend of academic, practical and transferable skills that are valued by industry and employers, that the BTEC offers.

In response to new careers emerging within industries and ongoing change, Pearson is continually adapting and innovating its BTEC curriculum and learning to ensure it is relevant for young people and adults – supporting progression and career aspirations throughout lives.

The recently launched BTEC qualification in esports, in partnership with the British Esports Association, is a major step forward in supporting the creation of long-term careers in the growing esports industry both in the UK and internationally. Esports is forecast grow by 20 percent in 2020 alone – reaching a value of $1.1bn and an audience nearly 500m people. In addition, Pearson's BTEC partnership with Liverpool Football Club, announced earlier this month, will enable learners in international markets to acquire the expertise, skills and knowledge required for careers in the rapidly expanding global sports sector.

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