Bedford College’s Learning Centre has recognised its 10,000th student at a Celebration of Success event, which also marked the graduation for students at Bedford College Group Learning Centres.
The Learning Centres are designed to offer people important Information Technology Qualification (ITQ) certificates so that can find work or secure promotion or pay rise.
At the event on 4 April, Gloria Ochante Cahuana from Peru was recognised as the centre’s 10,000th student.
Meanwhile, 58-year-old Tim Jupp was named as Student of the Year.
Tim moved to Clapham last year and hopes to now move on from his career as a bench joiner and find a job that utilises his skills for analytical problem solving.
600 students enrol onto free computer courses each year, with most students attending two or more two hour sessions a week at the centre on Bedford High Street.
Speaker of Bedford Borough Council, Cllr Doug McMurdo, joined Principal and CEO of The Bedford College Group, Ian Pryce CBE, to congratulate the graduates.
Cllr McMurdo first came to Bedford 40 years ago and worked at Bedford College on Cauldwell Street, which back then was known as Mander College.
Ian Pryce said: “I have been saying I have the best job in Bedford for 20 years so it is special to be here in the 19th year of the Bedford Learning Centre which we originally opened in Mill Street.”
The Learning Centre is open Monday to Saturday with sessions available up until 9pm.
Students can enrol on courses for Microsoft Office packages for Word, Excel and PowerPoint towards gaining an ITQ Certificate for IT users at Levels 1 and 2.
Additional courses can be taken in Access, Outlook and Publisher.
The Learning Centres is also helping people develop their English and Maths functional skills by providing computers so people can study online on the Open University’s Open Learn platform.