Rory Carroll

A HIGH-FLYING Otley College student is celebrating an accolade.Rory Carroll, 19, was one of four finalists in the Suffolk Further Education Awards, run by the Learning and Skills Council Suffolk.

A HIGH-FLYING Otley College student is celebrating an accolade.

Rory Carroll, 19, was one of four finalists in the Suffolk Further Education Awards, run by the Learning and Skills Council Suffolk.

The awards acknowledge the outstanding achievements of individuals who are participating in further education in the county.

Four colleges in Suffolk nominated a student who achieved success, often despite personal challenges.

Mr Carroll, of Clopton, left education at 16 and got a job but quickly realised that he needed more qualifications to improve his career prospects.

He enrolled on the construction multi-skills foundation level 1 course at Otley and found he had a natural talent for bricklaying.

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“I was a bit of a jack-the-lad when I was younger and hadn't really thought about the future, but then I grew up a bit and realised I needed to get some qualifications if I wanted a good job earning decent money,” he said.

“Otley is pretty close to my house and offered the courses I was interested in. When I joined the college I thought I might want to do carpentry but of all the different skills on the course, I really enjoyed bricklaying. So when the year was up I signed up for the brickwork course.”

He gained a distinction in his final exam in the first year of the course, and is continuing on a part-time basis after starting a Modern Apprenticeship with a local builder.

Rory's tutor, Wayne Scase, said Rory's attitude and dedication to the work had a big impact on the other students and has motivated them to achieve what he is achieving.

“The standard of the class is much higher than usual and it's probably got something to do with Rory's influence,” he said.