Students win at Mayoral Hustings
A virtual question and answer session with some of Greater Manchester’s mayoral candidates sparked off more than a political education for College Group students to mark the local government and mayoral elections.
Learners from Creative Media got the chance to practise their interview, filming and photography skills while Hospitality and Catering trainees fine-honed food and drink service at an outdoor reception for the live audience.
Surrounding schools and the College’s community partners were also able to log on to the Mayoral Hustings, which took place at Altrincham Campus’ award-winning on site Aspire Restaurant - with Flixton Girls School, University Academy 92, Cheadle College and Aquinas College as well as Trafford College and Stockport College invited to quiz politicians.
Virtual guests were incumbent mayor Andy Burnham, Chairman of Manchester Conservatives Damian Flanagan (representing Conservative Party candidate Laura Evans), Green candidate Melanie Horrocks and Liberal Democrat candidate Simon Lepori.
The live audience was made up of law students and members of the student campaign body, the Equalities Council. Shabab Ahmad from Trafford’s Equalities Council asked a question on climate change and Esha Mumtaz from Stockport’s Equalities Council called for candidates’ views on transport.
Law student and Equalities Council member, Khulood Aqel, 19, said: “The Mayoral Hustings were a really great opportunity to get to know more about the candidates, who they are and what they will do for students and young people. It’s definitely made me want to do my research on the inspirations and innovations that made them run for mayor.”
Khulood plans to go to university to become a criminal psychologist after studying law, business studies and GCSE maths after joining the College from William Hulme Grammar School.
First-year Creative Media student Kaine Massey, from Sale High School, gained tips from event compere, stadium announcer ‘The Voice of Old Trafford’ Alan Keegan, to further his ambition of becoming a television presenter.
Kaine said: “I learned the importance of presenting events like these to the society of Greater Manchester, the importance of remaining positive as a presenter and how to keep going with a straight face in the middle of a political argument!”
His classmate Ndumiso Sibisi, who moved to the UK from South Africa to follow his dreams to work in animation with his combination of GCSEs and Creative Media at the College, said: “I was very interested in the technological side of things. It was good to watch how the event was broadcast virtually as well as in person. I also learned more about the issues affecting Greater Manchester, which has helped me discover more about the place I live in.”
Photography students Hannah Gregory and Tilly Burrows documented the event, with some stunning shots:
Event organiser and Student Engagement & Learner Voice Lead at the College Group, Michelle McLaughlin, thanked all the schools and colleges as well as the politicians for taking part.
Michelle said: “At The Trafford College Group we are keen to share our support of political literacy. Thank you to all the people who recognise how important young people’s voices are.”