Students across Greater Manchester have showcased their hard work and skills developed during lockdown in a video presentation released today by the Greater Manchester Colleges Group (GMCG).
All Further Education (FE) colleges in Greater Manchester are part of the GMCG including Bolton College, Bury College, Hopwood Hall College, Oldham College, Tameside College, The Manchester College, Trafford College Group, Salford City College Group and Wigan & Leigh College.
Each year the GMCG host skills competitions in a variety of subject areas allowing students from each of the nine FE colleges to compete against one another in a series of challenges that showcase their technical skills and abilities. The annual event is seen as an ideal way for young people to demonstrate their technical skills and ability, build confidence, gain employability skills and provide healthy competition.
However, due to lockdown, this year’s competitions were unable to go ahead much to the disappointment of the students and staff.
Instead the Colleges decided to create a video to celebrate the overwhelming achievements that young people across Greater Manchester have made with their resilience and ability to carry on learning even when schools and colleges across the region had to close to the majority of learners.
Trafford College Group Assistant Principal, Joan Scott said: “The students have worked so hard, been creative, innovative and resilient. Along with support from their tutors, it has been a time where learning has not been lost but there’s been a great deal of hard work going on.”
Normally, the nine FE Colleges compete in teams against each other, with each college hosting a specific subject challenge. The competition is seen as a feeder for students to be selected for the national skills competitions where finalists can be selected to represent Team UK at the annual World Skills event.
The video is accompanied by an original song ‘A Little More Light’ by Hannah Green studying at Bury College.
Students have been able to continue developing their skills partly down to extra support received from the GMCG, who have made and continue to make a significant contribution to the Greater Manchester effort to meet the challenges faced with Covid-19.
They support 70,000 students of which 30,000 are 16-18 year olds. Learning was switched to remote learning within a week of the first national lockdown announcement for current and future students which contributed to participation levels in learning remaining very high.
Greater Manchester came together to ensure that they each remained open and that all vulnerable students and those at risk continued to be supported.
So far, over 5,000 laptops have been distributed to learners across the region meaning they could continue to stay on track and not let their education suffer.
Many learners have been gradually returning to campus sites across Greater Manchester since 8March with blended learning still ongoing and remains a vital tool in FE provision
The video can be viewed here.