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Students impress with invention and creative design expertise

By Anna Maguire

What does an award-winning seaweed skin lotion and a thermometer for aquariums have in common?

They were among the inventions developed and showcased by further education students at the Assembly yesterday.

Young designers modelled their latest designs on the catwalk in Parliament Buildings, as students displayed a prototype disease-busting, hands-free pedal bin for hospitals alongside devices for use in film, broadcasting, sports and renewable energy generation.

The event – sponsored by the Assembly's committee for employment and learning, in conjunction with Colleges NI – showcased the work of students across six further education colleges in Northern Ireland.

"The event gave the committee an opportunity to see what can be achieved when our young people are given the right support and training," Tom Buchanan, DUP chair of the employment and learning committee, said yesterday.

"We are particularly impressed by the breadth of skills our students possess.

"We are in no doubt about the contribution that colleges make to the economy."

Colleges NI chief executive, Gerry Campbell, added: "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."

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