Press Release

Colleges Bring Best in Show to Parliament Buildings

Session: 2013/2014

Date: Tuesday, 01 October 2013

Reference: E&L 02/13/14

Catwalk fashion, cutting-edge technology and an award-winning skin lotion — just a sample of what was on show today at a colleges event held at Parliament Buildings. The event, sponsored by the Committee for Employment and Learning and held in conjunction with Colleges NI, showcased the work of students across the six colleges in Northern Ireland.

 Guests at the event were treated to displays of work across a variety of areas, ranging from STEM subjects, electronics, renewable energy to sports academies and film and radio broadcasting. On display was an award-winning product to monitor temperature in aquariums, as well as a prototype for a new hands-free pedal bin aimed at preventing the spread of diseases in hospitals.

Speaking after the event, Deputy Chairperson of the Committee, Thomas Buchanan MLA, said: “The Committee is delighted to have sponsored today’s event showcasing the exceptional talent in our local colleges. We are particularly impressed by the breadth of skills our students possess – from the arts to the sciences, a wide range of knowledge and skills was on display today. The event also gave the Committee an opportunity to see what can be achieved when our young people are given the right support and training. We are in no doubt about the contribution that colleges make to the economy; the Committee will continue to support them as they equip our young people with the necessary skills for the future.”

Colleges NI Chief Executive Gerry Campbell said: “We were delighted to help organise this event today.  Labour market demands are always subject to change and it’s great to see the expertise within the colleges in some of the emerging growth sectors such as renewables, technology and science.  When you see all six regional FE colleges together here today, you recognise the strength of the sector.”

Members of the Employment and Learning Committee met students at the Committee’s Colleges Showcase event, held in conjunction with Colleges NI

Members of the Employment and Learning Committee met students at the Committee’s Colleges Showcase event, held in conjunction with Colleges NI. 

Pictured l-r Kayleigh Devanney, student at North West Regional College; Pat Ramsey MLA; Fra McCann MLA; Gerry Campbell, chief executive at Colleges NI; Oliver Doherty, Game of Thrones costume assistant and former North West Regional College student; Committee Deputy Chairperson, Tom Buchanan MLA; and Phil Flanagan MLA

(Photo courtesy of Colleges NI)


Notes to Editors:

Subjects featured at the event included science, electronics, computing technology, renewable energy, engineering manufacturing, sports, creative industries and film & radio broadcasting.

Examples of work on display included:

  • Programming technology in the form of coding initiatives taught by College students to local primary school students
  • Demonstrations of an award winning seaweed lotion with healing qualities for those with skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis
  • Three sports academies covering Golf, Soccer and GAA
  • Fashion design
  • Video showcasing the shirt industry in NI
  • Award winning product to monitor temperatures in aquariums
  • Prototype of a new recycling 'hands free' pedal-bin product aimed at preventing the spread of diseases in hospitals
  • Costume design, including display from Oliver Doherty, costume assistant on ‘The Game of Thrones’ and former student of North West Regional College

In attendance at the events were MLAs, sector skills councils, colleges, universities, trade unions, the third sector and students.

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