Have a go

Hundreds of school pupils from across Lanarkshire enjoyed a skills taster day at New College Lanarkshire.

Pupils representing ten schools across the region descended on the Motherwell Campus for the ‘Have a Go’ event.

The event allowed almost 200 pupils the chance to try out job-related skills, discover new talents and explore the state-of-the-art facilities at the £70 million campus.

Pupils were randomly assigned to four taster sessions across six faculties, which they were led around by dozens of student volunteers wearing bright yellow t-shirts.

The 12 activities on offer included technical tasks such as operating robots or using design software to place mechanical parts in a Computer Aided Design studio.

Pupils rolled up their sleeves to try out wallpapering and joinery in the Engineering block, while they lit up the College’s in-house restaurant, MLOne, by making flambé crepes suzette.

There were also tasters of hairdressing, dentistry, fitness, first aid and children’s play activities.

The event, which is in line with the Scottish Government’s Developing the Young Workforce strategy, aims to ease the transition between school and further or higher education.

Arlene Byrne, Schools Development Manager of New College Lanarkshire, said: “Many young people don’t know what they want to do post-school and this is an ideal opportunity for them to try out different activities.”

The participating schools were Calderside Academy in Blantyre, St Margaret’s High in Airdrie, St Ambrose High in Coatbridge, Cumbernauld Academy, Strathaven Academy, Kilsyth Academy, Bellshill Academy, Trinity High in Rutherglen, St Aidan’s High and Coltness High, both in Wishaw.

Five pupils who completed feedback forms each won £50 Amazon vouchers in a prize draw.

This is the third year that the College has organised the ‘Have a Go’ event, which is inspired by taster sessions offered at nation-wide trade skills contest WorldSkills UK.

Matthew Smith, Head of Faculty of Computing & Creative Industries, said: “The College offers a very wide range of vocational courses which are ideal for taster sessions.

“The activities were chosen at random to break down any artificial gender stereotypes by having boys try out so-called ‘girls’ skills’ and vice versa.

“I hope the pupils enjoyed the day, had a good experience and had a go at something they may not have considered before.”