Praise for Midlothian pupil Emma

Emma Owenson (second right) with family members at the prize giving ceremony. Photo: Derek Anderson
Emma Owenson (second right) with family members at the prize giving ceremony. Photo: Derek Anderson

Beeslack High School pupil Emma Owenson has won the Chair’s Award for Outstanding Achievement at Edinburgh College’s annual student prize giving ceremony.

Emma received her award for her exceptional performance as a student of the Hospitality and Tourism Academy, part of the pioneering South East Scotland Academies Partnership (SESAP).

SESAP is a partnership between Edinburgh College, Queen Margaret University, Borders College and local authorities. It gives school pupils experience of college, university and employment in key growth industries, supporting their progress to further studies and careers.

Emma is one of more than 70 further education students honoured at Edinburgh College’s prize giving for the hard work and talent over the last year. The event at the college’s Milton Road Campus was hosted by Forth One presenter Micky Gavin.

Emma has been studying at the Hospitality and Tourism Academy over the last year, taking classes at Edinburgh College and QMU, and gaining practical experience in front-of-house service at the college’s training restaurant EH15. She has been in the unique position of studying at school, college and university all at the same time. She picked up the Chair’s Award for Outstanding Achievement for her enthusiasm and dedication on her Academy course.

Emma said: “I was really surprised and honoured to be nominated for my award. The course has allowed me to work in a new environment and I’ve really enjoyed the practical aspect of working in the restaurant and serving customers. I’d recommend it to anyone who’s still at school thinking about a career in hospitality and I am looking forward to going into my second year.”

Edinburgh College’s chair of the Board of Management, Ian McKay, added: “Over the past year Emma has displayed all the attributes of an exemplary student and she is very deserving of this recognition. The ethos of the South East Scotland Academies Partnership and our college is to provide students with practical work experience during their studies that prepares them for working in industry.

“Emma’s success demonstrates the partnership in practice and she’s set a great example for many more students to follow. I am proud to present the Chair’s Award, which also honours the fantastic work our staff put into supporting students.”

SESAP has three academies for senior school pupils in Edinburgh, East Lothian, Midlothian and the Borders. The academies support pupils to maximise educational opportunities, develop transferable skills and smooth the transition between school, college, university and employment, supporting the development of Scotland’s key growth industries. The academies are the Hospitality and Tourism Academy, the Creative Industries Academy, and the Health and Social Care Academy.

The full academy programme is part-time and delivered over one academic year in S5 or S6. Students can gain a recognised industry qualification as well as experience of college, university and the workplace. Successful students can then progress to places on related courses at QMU, Edinburgh or Borders College.