On Saturday 2 March, members of the public were invited to Oaklands College to take part in the 40 Have a Go activities taking part at the College’s public opening of their new build, the Discovery Centre, opened by The Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, The Countess of Verulam.
With over 40 activities available across the College’s curriculum offer - including how to build a brick arch, printmaking, bread making techniques, sign language, coaching skills and how to do mini manicures – members of the public were given a ‘bite-size’ taster of a vocational skill. The day proved a popular success with over 1,200 activities completed by visitors.
The Have a Go programme is part of a region wide project led by ACER (the Association of Colleges in the East of England). It is financed by the European Union through the European Social Fund, to provide interactive and engaging opportunities for people across the UK to try new skills and help to raise aspiration and gain careers information, advice and guidance.
Along with the activities on offer impartial advice and guidance was available throughout the day, provided by the College’s Student Advice team and Youth Connexions, for individuals to gain information on training, learning and job opportunities in the current and future employment market skills.
Megan McKinnon, a local school girl, commented, “Today has been a great day, an opportunity to see the College’s fantastic new facilities and learn a new skill. I have taken part in 5 activities which have all provided me with a taster of a possible career. I have learnt how to give an Indian head massage, printmaking, build a brick arch and baked bread and biscuits. I also had a tour of the Animal Care department and learnt how to groom a horse. The day was fantastic.”
Zoe Hancock, Principal of Oaklands College, commented: “The day was a real success and we are delighted The Countess of Verulam could attend and officially opening our Discovery Centre.
“It was great to see people of all ages taking part in a number of activities, some of which they wouldn’t have normally considered, and having a look around our new facilities.”
Ross Maloney, Chief Executive of The Skills Show, commented, “Having a go for yourself is the perfect way for kids and young adults to get a taste for a new skill. There’s no substitute for hands-on experience to help open the minds of thousands of young people to the jobs and careers that are out there waiting for them.”