Winners and Finalists 2016

Our winners!

At the heart of the VQ Day celebrations are the students, tutors and employers who take, support and promote vocational qualifications, which is why we hold the VQ Awards.

Learner of the Year Intermediate Level 2016

Elizabeth Forkuoh
Elizabeth Forkuoh

Multilingual Elizabeth Forkuoh, who is blazing a trail in the hospitality industry, is a finalist in this year’s Vocational Qualification (VQ) awards for Wales.

Moving to Llanelli when she was 15 and already fluent in Italian and Twi, she has since learned English and gained an A* in GCSE French, as well as starting to learn Welsh. She has also represented Wales and the UK in skills competitions.

Elizabeth, 20, is now studying a Level three NVQ Diploma in Hospitality Supervision and Leadership at Coleg Sir Gâr in Carmarthen, while working part-time at the Stradey Park Hotel, Llanelli.

Learner of the Year Higher Level 2016

Melanie Durney
Melanie Durney

Melanie Durney strives to make things happen, fast. She believes there is always opportunity to develop and expand – an attitude the community of Milford Haven has much to thank her for.

An organisation steeped in local history and ever present throughout her childhood, Melanie drew on her background in business finance to fulfil a lifelong ambition and join the Port of Milford Haven as docks administrator.

Five years on, Melanie and her team are heading up a multi-million pound regeneration project set to bring jobs, boost tourism and create a brighter economic future for her beloved home town.

Employer of the Year 2016


Vocational qualifications are supporting an award winning North Wales recycling company’s ambition to send zero waste to landfill in the future.

Thorncliffe, a double winner at last year’s Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, has successful waste and recycling sites in Mold and Abergele which are each saving 30,000 tonnes of waste a year from landfill.

Now the company is in the running for more success after being shortlisted in this year’s Vocational Qualification (VQ) Awards, which celebrate the achievements of both learners and employers across Wales.

VQ Learner of the Year Finalists

  • Darryn Pitman
  • Dorotta Orzeszek
  • Lorna Wilcox-Jones
  • Nick Rudge
  • Stefano Amoruso

VQ Employer of the Year Finalists

  • Arthur J Gallagher
  • Wales Community Rehabilitation Company