Gary Neville surprise appearance contributes to a record-breaking student conference

Gary Neville surprise appearance contributes to a record-breaking student conference

Record numbers logged on to Trafford College’s online student conference to hear from special guests including a late addition to the line-up, former footballer and co-founder of University Academy 92 Gary Neville.

The College hosts an annual student conference every year to provide learners with the opportunity to feedback about their studies as well as quiz invited guests, which this year included peers who provided insights on learning through lockdown over Microsoft Teams.

CEO and College Group Principal James Scott opened by thanking students for their commitment to their learning throughout successive lockdown periods, revisiting prospective dates for reopening issued by the Government, alongside a reminder for all learners to seek support from the College where needed.

Shadow Secretary of State for Education, Stretford and Urmston MP Kate Green, encouraged everyone to register to vote in the up and coming May local elections with a call for everyone to encourage each other to follow their dreams, much like the teacher who urged her to stand as a political candidate in 1997.

Former Manchester United football star, property developer, hotelier, co-owner of Salford FC and College partner as one of the founders of University Academy 92, Gary Neville, gave students advice on coping with lockdown: keep busy, use this time to improve, spare screen use, stay connected and share your feelings. He also fielded a question about the current United manager with an unwavering message of support.

The Association of College’s Richard Caulfield brought in young people’s mental health charity 42nd Street to remind students of the local support available through the College’s community partnerships, while Oba Akinwale, from presentation skills company Loud Speaker, spoke about the impact of motivation and public speaking on student confidence and prospective careers.

Seddon Construction’s Zoe McArdle talked about her journey through a male-dominated field and urged students to make the most of social networking jobs site LinkedIn and Gayle Bray from Nationwide discussed the importance of gaining a financial education to equip learner for the road ahead.

Student Leader and member of the College Group’s Equalities Council Millie Mulliner, who is currently undertaking an internship in addition to her Level 3 Business Studies said: “I believe making my voice heard on behalf of my generation is so important, not only for our future, but for future generations to come. It inspires me to know I am doing everything I can to make sure our opinions are being heard by people who have the power to change things.”