Now in their 10th year, the prestigious and influential annual Bridal Buyer Awards, regarded as Europe’s top bridal awards ceremony, are all about enterprise – recognising excellence and achievement in retail, design, manufacturing, innovation and export.

Bishop Burton College Fashion and Clothing students have provided finalists in two of the last three years, with learners attending the stylish ceremony and black tie dinner at the Harrogate Exhibition Centre – an event which brings together some 600 guests from across the UK, Continental Europe and the United States to celebrate the best of the bridal wear industry. The competition is fierce, with entries from colleges and universities across the UK.

This year, the College entered learners from both their National Diploma Fashion and Clothing and schools partnerships groups, offering them an opportunity to experience the Fashion process – from design to development to delivery. Learners at the College benefit from regional and national fashion designers showing them a range of business models for their future careers and giving practical advice on current projects. Visiting speakers reflect the range of opportunities available within sector, from design to promotion and marketing. Strong employer and community links are developed through a policy of live project delivery, and specialist tutors maintain strong industrial and commercial links. With this experience behind them, all learners are progressing into employment with training or higher education. The continuing success of the area’s FE provision clearly provides a fantastic springboard for the College’s exciting new Foundation Degree in Fashion and Clothing, starting in September 2011.

Two schools learners represented the College at the finals this year, having generated and developed ideas in response to a demanding brief, produced outstanding illustration and mood boards, and created finished garments. They met strict deadlines, costed their proposals, and sourced specialist materials. And they certainly valued the experience:

“I’m surprised at the diversity within what seems like a small section of the fashion industry – it’s certainly something I will consider in pursuing my fashion career in the future” (Lucy Ralphs)

Jess Hoyle – “Weddings show that there is a lot of happiness still in the world, and the competition showed that is exceptionally big business – my course at Bishop Burton certainly taught me the skills needed within this industry” (Jess Hoyle)

Clearly – with the support of a terrific staff team and excellent course provision – Level 3 and schools learners can compete with the best undergraduates when it comes to enterprise and innovation.

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