A packed hall at The Mansion House, at Old Warden Park, saw young people collecting awards for their work with Bedford College.
The 14 to 16-year-olds, from schools across Bedford Borough and Central Beds, had opted to gain work experience in construction, hair and beauty, vehicle and animal care.
All work took place in the environment of the FE College, which has been rated Ofsted Outstanding for its work with 14 to 16-year-olds.
The college’s 14+ senior manager, Hugh Rea, said: “I would like to thank the students and their families for rising to the challenge of a college adult environment, where employability skills are learned.
“We are delighted that a number of 16-year-olds are now going on to workplace apprenticeships or full-time study in related courses at the college.”
Students of the Year were Lara Daly, who attended the animal care course at Shuttleworth College (part of Bedford College) and Emma Hall who attended a hairdressing couse at the Brooks Salon – also part of Bedford College. Both were presented with trophies.
All students were given certificates, and special awards were made to individuals who had made a real contribution to each of the courses.
Bedford College sponsors the 14+ UTC Central Beds in Houghton Regis and in September 2016 is opening the BedfordTech where children aged 13+ can develop technology skills.
Bedford College also helped secure the £25 million Bedford Academy investment for Bedford and helped set up the Bedford Free School.