US Education Secretary explores apprenticeships at CCCG

On Thursday 14 June, Westminster Kingsway College hosted a visit by Betsy DeVos, the U.S. Secretary of Education, where she learned about the college’s highly regarded school of hospitality and culinary arts, and its vital role in preparing apprentice students for a successful career in the industry.

Secretary DeVos visited WestKing’s Victoria campus as part of her fact-finding tour to Europe, where she explored apprenticeship programmes in Switzerland, the Netherlands and the UK. Westminster Kingsway was the only college that Secretary DeVos visited during the UK leg of her tour.

During her visit, Secretary DeVos heard from Andy Wilson (Chef Executive of the Capital City College Group – of which Westminster Kingsway College is part), Gary Hunter (Vice-Principal of Westminster Kingsway College) and Raj Kakaiya (Deputy Director of the Capital City College Group’s specialist apprenticeships arm, Capital City College Training). She also had a tour of the college’s teaching kitchens – where she had the opportunity to make bread in the bakery and chocolate in our chocolate lab, as well as meeting staff and students.

Students at Westminster Kingsway’s Victoria site learn their culinary skills under the watchful eye of the college’s chef lecturers and work in the college’s kitchens, creating and serving meals for paying customers in the college’s two public restaurants – the Brasserie and the Escoffier Room. This realistic learning environment prepares students before they embark on their careers in the hospitality and culinary arts industry.

Following her visit, Secretary DeVos said: “In the United States, we are working to make apprenticeships more common and available in more fields. It was exciting to see firsthand how Westminster Kingsway is providing strong options to students, and they are clearly benefiting from this approach.”

Andy Wilson, Chief Executive of the Capital City College Group – hosted the visit. He said: “We are very proud of our apprenticeship provision across the Group, as well as our school of hospitality and culinary arts in Victoria, and were honoured to show Secretary DeVos our college and facilities. We hope it has proved a useful introduction to our work and has inspired her as she looks to improve educational outcomes for students in the USA.”

Roy O’Shaughnessy appointed as CCCG CEO

Following an extensive search, the Capital City College Group (CCCG) is delighted to announce the appointment of Roy O’Shaughnessy as its new Chief Executive. Roy will start his new role early in the autumn term. The Group’s current Chief Executive Andy Wilson is retiring, but will stay on until Roy starts, to facilitate a smooth handover.

Currently the Chief Executive Officer of Shaw Trust – a national charity committed to helping transform the lives of young people and adults – Roy brings to CCCG a wealth of high-level experience across a range of sectors. Shaw Trust provides specialist services to help young people and adults gain an education, enter work, develop their career, improve their wellbeing or rebuild their lives. He has been The Shaw Trust’s CEO for the past six years, helping the charity to grow and diversify into a £250 million organisation with over 3,500 staff.

Roy O’Shaughnessy said: “I am excited to be joining one of the UK’s largest college groups and look forward to meeting staff across the Group and its colleges. I am sad to be leaving  Shaw Trust after a decade, but pleased that I leave it in great shape and on track to achieve its ambition of helping transform the lives of one million young people and adults each year by 2022.”

Alastair Da Costa, Chair of the Capital City College Group, said: “Roy was the outstanding candidate during our extensive selection process. He has great leadership presence, is values-driven and has an ambitious and visionary sense of how CCCG should develop its ambition.”

“It is an exciting time for CCCG, its staff, students and many stakeholders. We have a record number of learners and a renewed focus on upskilling London’s workforce for the post-Brexit era – something we are perfectly placed to do. I would like to thank our current CEO, Andy Wilson, for his role in leading the Group through its first two years.  Roy has the experience and desire to continue to move the Group forward and the Governors and I are looking forward to working with him.”

Andy Wilson, the outgoing Chief Executive of the Capital City College Group said: “I am tremendously proud of all the CCCG senior team, staff and Governors have done to create London’s leading college Group and look forward to passing it in to such capable hands when Roy takes over the CEO role in September.”