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Pipe dreams came true! Blackburn plumber scoops the top prize at glittery awards ceremony

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PERFECT PLUMBER: Muzamal Ishfaq thanked  his tutor Neil Hodgson for helping him bag the top prize

PERFECT PLUMBER: Muzamal Ishfaq thanked his tutor Neil Hodgson for helping him bag the top prize

An exceptional plumber from Blackburn College has been awarded the top prize at the first ever Asian Apprentice Awards.

As he nears the end of his Apprenticeship with Ash’s Plumbing and Heating Services, 18-year-old Muzamal Ishfaq, 18, of St James’ Road, Blackburn has managed to scoop the prestigious award.

His professional approach and attitude to his Apprenticeship saw him collect his award at a glittering national ceremony held at the Holiday Inn in Birmingham on Thursday 10th November.

The former Witton Park High School student was selected out of a large number of entries for the commitment he has shown to his employer and his Apprenticeship in the Construction category.

Muzamal said:  “I felt very surprised when I heard I had won. When I entered the competition and saw how many people I was up against, I didn’t think I stood a chance.

“Much to my surprise, I came out on top and would like to thank my Dad, as well as my tutors at Blackburn College for putting a lot of effort and time into tutoring me. Without them, I would never have won this.”

Muzamal in particular thanked Blackburn College and his tutor Neil Hodgson for his support.

The Asian Apprenticeship Awards are intended to encourage more young people of Asian heritage to consider an Apprenticeship.

450 business people attended the event to celebrate the talent and diversity in apprentices and recognising the employers and learning providers who support and teach them.

The night included entertainment from Bhangra group Eternal Taal who have performed on some of the world’s largest stages including Glastonbury Festival, Bollywood and The Graham Norton Show - as well as comedian Patrick Monahan.

Apprenticeships are a route into training and work in which the Asian community is underrepresented.

The Government is aiming for another three million Apprenticeship starts by 2020, including increasing the proportion of apprenticeships taken up by young people from BME backgrounds by 20 per cent and increasing BME employment by 20 per cent.

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Tauheedul Islam Girls school receives third ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted inspection

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A high school has received its third Outstanding Ofsted inspection in a row.

Tauheedul Islam Girls School, in Blackburn, received a glowing report from Ofsted inspectors who said the school was in the country’s top one per cent for improving students’ outcomes.

Inspectors said the school was led by a ‘strong sense of moral purpose’ and praised its focus on helping the less fortunate.

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Lead inspector Joan McKenna said the academic achievement in school was also of an incredibly high standard.

She said: “Students achieve exceptionally well in this school. The rates of progress made by all groups of students are truly impressive across all subjects.

“Because of the outstanding progress, students reach high standards. GCSE results are consistently significantly above the national average in all subjects.”

The school has been in the top one per cent of schools in the country for the extent to which it improved students’ outcomes for the last three years. Ms McKenna added: “Students are highly motivated and enthusiastic about their learning.”

She said the school’s spiritual focus was a successful element.

She said: “Students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is of an exceedingly high order because it is regarded as extremely important by leaders and its promotion is integral to the life of the school.

“It is the framework within which all else takes place and there are very many examples of students’ outstanding outcomes in these areas. They act to help those less fortunate than they are and have well-developed views on a wide range of ethical and moral issues.”

Principal Hamid Patel welcomed the report. He said: “Having an Ofsted inspection is a stressful experience but it was most positive. The inspectors were very impressed and we are proud of our school and what we have achieved.”

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