Northern Regional College Ballymoney Campus, has landed itself a top catch after winning a celebrity backed cook-off in honour of Seafood Week, which is taking place across the country from 9th to 16th October. The Big College Seafood Cook-Off, held at Mourne Seafood Bar and Cookery School in Belfast, was hailed as a celebration of the local seafood industry and set up to inspire future generations to cook more often using seafood.
Six catering colleges from across Northern Ireland took part in a seafood masterclass with a host of top local chefs who were then on hand to provide mentoring as the teams went head to head to produce a series of seafood dishes.
Notable culinary stars from the day included Andy Rea, Stephen Jeffers and Wayne Carville of the Mourne Seafood Bar and Cookery School, while Danny Millar of Balloo Inns, Paula McIntyre of Radio Ulster and Raymond McArdle of Maisons Restaurant were also in attendance. Each of the six chefs mentored a college to prepare a seafood dish using locally caught products.
Winning students Cameron Ashcroft and Racheal Finch from Northern Regional College, mentored by Chef Wayne Carville from Mourne Seafood, landed first place with a pan fried plaice with braised lentils, pancetta and vegetables. Judges praised their excellent workflow and preparation and the meld of flavours.
The BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art and Design students from the Northern Regional College are celebrating the new Northern Regional College calendar for 2016, which was the outcome of an annual industry graphic design competition set and judged by McCadden, Belfast.
Each year students are invited to take part in this project and compete to design the winning entry in the corporate calendar, which is placed on the front cover of the calendar. 1,000 copies of the calendar are produced and many of these sent to organisations linked to Northern Regional College across the world, as an alternative to a Corporate Christmas Card, demonstrating the talents of Art and Design students at the College.
Maria McGuigan, the competition winner of the graphic design competition was awarded a £150 amazon voucher alongside her winning design being featured as the January entry (Prize sponsopred by McCadden Belfast. Second prize was awarded to Rachael McCaughey and third prize to Katarina Sarkoziova.
Career Academy students from Northern Regional College have received their graduation certificates from Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry at a ceremony in Parliament Buildings. Career Academies UK is a national charity that helps raise young people’s aspirations and bridge the gap between education and the world of work by giving them access to real experience through mentoring, an internship, masterclasses and workplace visits. There are 11 Career Academies operating across all six further education colleges with a total of 177 students and over 60 students received their certificates at the graduation ceremony.
Speaking at the Graduation event at Parliament Buildings, Minister Farry said: “I commend the ongoing work of the further education colleges and Career Academies UK in providing these opportunities for students to help bridge the gap between education and work. These work experience opportunities improve students’ employability skills and therefore improve their employment prospects. Employers also report that engaging with Career Academies has enhanced their own staff development which in turn benefits our local economy.
“The students here today have been positive ambassadors for all young people in further education. I am confident that the skills and knowledge they have acquired during the internships through the Career Academies programme will benefit them as they plan their future careers.
“I am particularly impressed with the promotion of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Academies, which I believe will help to ensure that our young people fully realise the future opportunities in this important area.”
The growth in the number of local graduates taking part has led to the introduction of regional Graduation events and this is the second Northern Ireland Graduation to take place.
Representatives from an impressive network of employers who work in partnership with Career Academies to provide students with rich experiences in the world of work, including Caterpillar, Halifax, McAuley Precision, Michelin Tyre Plc, Randox Laboratories, Schrader Electronics, Wrightbus and Autoline Insurance, attended the prestigious event.
The Honourable the Irish Society made their annual visitation to the Coleraine campus of the Northern Regional College last week to present special achievement awards to students in the vocational areas of Travel & Tourism and Engineering. The two recipients were Danielle McNeill and Stephen Austin.
Stephen Austin who is studying the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Engineering is a former pupil of Slemish College Ballymena who joined the A level equivalent course in Engineering at the Coleraine Campus in September 2013, with strong GCSE grades.
Speaking at the event Engineering Lecturer, David Lynn said, “Stephen is expected to achieve an overall grade of straight distinctions in his Extended Diploma, having gained distinctions in all of the 9 units he studied in ﬁrst year. He is on course to gain distinctions in all of his second year units. He has produced an excellent standard of work throughout the course and demonstrated his ability to work on his own and meet all assessment deadlines. His second year Project module involved working closely with an industrial partner on the design of a custom packaging machine. Stephen showed high levels of professionalism in his interactions, presentation skills and time management.
Stephen entered and qualified for the 2014 World Skills regional heats in Industrial Electronics. He successfully applied the skills developed during his time at Coleraine and exceeded the demands of the skills competition.” Stephen is intending to continue his studies at Queens University in Belfast where he will be reading Civil Engineering.
Danielle McNeill has been a Travel and Tourism student at the college since September 2012. Danielle joined us as a Level 2 student from Ballymoney High School and has progressed successfully onto the BTEC Level 3 programme which she is completing in June 2015.
Travel & Tourism Lecturer, Richard Hasson said “Danielle has shown a keen interest in all aspects of her Travel and Tourism courses and due to her friendly and well-mannered approach she has been a pleasure to teach. Danielle is well organised and has become a very independent student. Danielle has always been willing to get involved in all aspects of her studies and has completed a Worldhost Qualification, a City and Guilds Employability Skills qualification and Essential Skills qualifications in Maths, English and ICT. Danielle leaves us as a very well-qualified student.”
Danielle hopes to continue studying Travel and Tourism at higher level by going on to start a Foundation Degree Qualification in Travel and Tourism Management next year.