As students eagerly await their GCSE results, former South West College (SWC) BTEC Level 3 Construction student Mark McCarron, hailing from Tempo, shares his success story as a multiple award-winning student. Currently working as an Architectural Technologist placement student at Hamilton Architects in Belfast, Mark attributes his achievements both educationally and within his career to the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Construction and Built Environment, which he studied at the SWC Enniskillen.

Marks journey began after completing his GCSEs at St. Joseph's Enniskillen secondary school in 2011. He then went on to achieve an NVQ Level 2 and 3 Apprenticeship in Autobody Repair over 3 years with the Monaghan Brothers in Lisnaskea. Following this, he worked as a full-time Autobody Panel Technician for a few years, showcasing his skill and dedication.

At the age of 17, Mark participated in the Northern Ireland heats for World Skills UK, securing an impressive 3rd place. His success continued as he moved on to the Skill Auto UK Nationals' finals in England. In 2019, he decided to return to studying at the SWC Enniskillen, where he excelled in the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Construction and Built Environment, earning the top academic achiever award for his class.

Seeking further educational advancement, Mark enrolled in Ulster University in Belfast. Here, Mark received the top academic achiever award in year 1 and 2 whilst studying a BSc (Hons) Architectural Technology and Management degree. Additionally, Mark was honoured with the McCrea Leebody Science Award for achieving the highest marks within the engineering and built environment discipline.

When asked about his career journey, Mark highlights the significance of the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Construction and Built Environment in developing his technical and generic skills.

"The BTEC course at South West College not only provided me with the opportunity for independent learning and industry-specific training, but also helped me develop essential technical skills in REVIT, 2D CAD, and construction methodologies.

said Mark

Moreover, it honed my generic skills like presentations, group work, problem-solving, and effective communication. This invaluable foundation has propelled me forward in my career, as I continue to utilize computer-based design software like 3D Revit and 2D CAD in my current role as an Architectural Technologist.”

For those hoping to progress within a construction/civil or design-based career, Mark encourages people to consider their options and says A Levels are not always the best option. He explains, β€˜the BTEC course, equivalent to 3 A levels successfully prepares learners for employment and provides a direct pathway in to higher education, ultimately leading to a fulfilling career in the growing Construction sector.’

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