Guest Blogger: New Year, New You!

This column is written monthly by Harrogate College Principal Debra Forsythe-Conroy for the Harrogate Advertiser.

Have you considered re-training for a new career, updating existing skills or taking a short course (learning for leisure)? Look no further than your local college or training provider who will be able to offer a range of adult courses both long and short which cover a wide range of interests and skills. Whether you are looking to upskill in a current job, re-train for a new job or develop or start a hobby…something you have been meaning to do for a while…. 2017 is the time to begin!

Harrogate College is launching a series of short courses across a range of subject areas. A brand new Painting and Drawing class is launched for 2017 alongside the very successful part time ceramics provision. This course is designed for complete beginners who want to learn the skills of drawing and painting as well as experienced artists who want to develop their skills. These courses will be taught in the colleges brand new facilities which overlook the beautiful Crimple Valley, inspiration right outside the window!

Additionally the new facilities include fantastic photographic studios, dark rooms and processing facilities. This level of facility is a rarity in the digital age but increasingly people are coming back to the specialist traditional skilled techniques. Whether you prefer taking ‘real ‘photographs or digital ones we offer short courses that will enable you to enhance your skills.

Another traditional skill is that of pattern cutting, which continues to be a popular choice and is complemented by a range of successful dressmaking courses.

Hairdressing is a skill area which is constantly evolving; perhaps you already hold hairdressing qualifications and feel a little out of date. There are a range of courses from refresher training to the popular hair extensions course. There are a range of nail courses which include ‘Shelac’, application of gel polish, nail art as well as traditional manicure and pedicure training. One of the most popular short courses relate to Make-up techniques. The college offers courses from basic make-up techniques to bridal make-up, make-up for proms and specialist make-up for theatre and photographic portraiture. All of these alongside our ever popular ‘Pamper days’ which include a delicious lunch served in the new Bistro on the Park.

Does Anatomy and Physiology interest you, have you ever considered how the body works, how and why skin ages, what is the circulatory system and much more. The college has an Anatomy and Physiology course which also serves as an introduction to a range of complementary therapy courses commencing with a reflexology taster session leading to a more in-depth reflexology course over 10 weeks.

Construction trades are always popular not least some of the more traditional heritage crafts and basic home maintenance for those with DIY tendencies with an emphasis an introduction to using power tools correctly – for all those owners of brand new drills! Grand Designs and the very popular House Renovation show held annually in Harrogate have encouraged people to want to learn more about how to complete home improvement projects themselves. We also commence the New Year with a brand new initial introduction to welding skills. This traditional skill is starting to regain popularity not least owing to the well-publicised skill shortage in welding but also to those who wish to design and create metal sculptures!

For those interested in cookery the college has extensive, high quality training kitchens in which to acquire catering skills and learn tips of the trade from the specialists! There are a variety of courses from creating nutritious family meals in 30 minutes to developing your curry making skills, learn about spices and making bread from scratch through to creating beautiful cakes that taste and look delicious.

One of the greatest changes in recent years in education is the understanding that some young children learn better in an outdoor environment and so the Forest School movement developed. Under the specialist area of childcare and health, taster and refresher courses are offered with participants using the Outdoor Learning environment at College to develop skills in supporting children to learn outside. We also offer courses in paediatric first aid, a course suitable for a new parent or someone working with young children. Perhaps English not your first language? You could improve your English speaking, listening and writing skills through a range of courses that will support you to achieve this.

Finally did you know that Maths and English are FREE and available at all levels and abilities for those who do not already hold a formal qualification. Whatever inspires you, the Great British Bake-off, the Great British Sewing Bee or a range of other TV choices, why not hone or develop your skills in 2017! Contact your local training provider or Harrogate College on 01423 878211 for more information.

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