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Group Chair Alastair Da Costa announced as social mobility commissioner

The Group is pleased to announce that our Chair Alastair Da Costa has been appointed to become a Commissioner of the Social Mobility Commission. Alastair will formally start the role on 1 November and will continue as Chair of the Group throughout his time as a Commissioner.

Alastair said: “I am honoured and delighted to have been selected as a Commissioner. The Social Mobility Commission does incredibly important work and I am looking forward to being a part of it.”

The Department for Education’s full announcement is here https://www.gov.uk/government/news/education-secretary-appoints-new-social-mobility-commissioners

 

Capital City College Group signs a partnership agreement with Guangdong Construction Polytechnic in China

Capital City College Group’s (CCCG) International team welcomed senior representatives from Guangdong Construction Vocational Technology Institute on a visit to London to sign an official Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two institutions. Joining the meeting was the Chairman, YE Feisong, alongside CCCG’s CEO Andy Wilson, newly-appointed Operations Director of CCCT Jackie Chapman and Seungeun Chang, Head of International Operations for CCCT.

This meeting signals the start of an intended cooperation between the institutions, which is expected to see the delivery of training and sharing best practice.

The meeting was followed by a visit to Berkeley Group where our Chinese partners met with Stav Aristokle Hill, Apprenticeship Programme Manager, who provided an informative presentation sharing the work Berkeley does with Apprentices from the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London, part of CCCG.

Andy Wilson, CEO of the CCCG Group said: ‘“It was exciting to host this senior delegation from Guandong Construction Polytechnic and, in particular, to compare our aspirations for Apprenticeships in our respective countries. I look forward to developing a strong relationship and continuing to learn from each other’s experiences”.

CONEL Construction Tutor Named Runner-Up for FE Lecturer of the Year Award

Paul Oatham, Curriculum Manager for Construction at CONEL has been named a runner up in the FE Lecturer of the Year category of the prestigious Pearson Teaching Awards. Paul was shortlisted after achieving a Silver Award but narrowly missed out on a Gold Plato Award at the ceremony at The Brewery in Chiswell Street, Central London, on 21 October.

After the ceremony, Paul said: “It’s been an amazing year! I’m so very humbled to have been nominated for the Pearson Award for FE Lecturer of the Year. Although I did not win the Gold Plato Award tonight, to win a Silver Award was amazing and something I never expected.

“This was a very proud moment for me, seated with amazing teachers who have helped their learners achieve their dreams. I would like to thank my family, students and work colleagues, without whose support I would not be here today.”

Paul’s students and the college nominated him for an award and described him as ‘inspirational’, ‘awesome’, ‘brilliant’, ‘knowledgeable’ and, ‘ supportive’, during their studies.

His creative teaching and learning methods and often self-made resources have had an incredible impact with all his students successfully completing their courses ahead of schedule and progressing onto higher levels of study or employment.

Interim Principal Kurt Hintz said: “We are extremely proud of Paul’s achievement in receiving one of this year’s Silver Pearson Teaching Awards. Paul embodies all that it is to be a teacher at CONEL and his recognition is recognition for all of our teachers who work so hard to inspire students in the classrooms, workshops and workplaces. It’s been a great year for CONEL and Paul’s recognition and award does top it all off. Congratulations to Paul!”

The Pearson Teaching Awards will be televised in a programme called Britain’s Classroom Heroes on BBC2 on Sunday 28 October.

Jordanian Minister visits WestKing’s Victoria Centre

On Friday 19 October, Westminster Kingsway College hosted some special visitors from the Jordanian delegation: His Excellency Dr. Mahafzah (Jordanian Minister of Education), Ms. Hind Hindawi (Jordanian Ministry of Education), Ms. Farah Jadallah (Jordanian Ministry of Education), Mrs. Katrina Stringer (UK DFID) and Ms. Razan Alsaket (Embassy of Jordan) met with our Capital City College Group CEO, Roy O’Shaughnessy, to discuss the college and how we are ranked by Ofsted.

The visit was coordinated between Jordanian and English ministers to allow Dr. Mahafzah to see first-hand how the UK ranks its colleges. Ofsted, who review and enforce standards in educations across England, led the event at our Victoria Centre in order to demonstrate the processes and procedures used to rank schools across the country.

Senior HMI FE & Skills from Ofsted, Rieks Drijver said, “This is a really valuable piece of collaboration work between Ofsted, Westminster Kingsway and the Jordanian delegation. There were interesting questions from everyone which created positive answers and resulted in all three sides learning.”

After the presentations, the delegation were shown around the centre, showcasing Hospitality & Culinary Arts  facilities including the Brasserie, Escoffier room and the colleges state of the art kitchens. The visitors saw classes in full flow as they walked through the rooms, seeing hospitality students lay the tables and the culinary students prepare the lunchtime meals.

Roy O’Shaughnessy summarised the visit by saying, “Visits like this show that if you have the right strategic partnerships you can provide opportunities not only for yourself but also for others. It is great that we are able to host these events as we are constantly sharing ideas and improving.”

Victoria Centre hosts Higher Education Graduation with special guests

Westminster Kingsway’s Victoria centre held its 2018 Higher Education Graduation on Wednesday 17 October, during which the HE Students studying Hospitality & Culinary Arts, Travel & Tourism and Business received awards to acknowledge their hard work and achievements.

In the ceremony, held at St. Stephen’s Church in Victoria, the graduates received their scroll and the congratulations of their families and friends. The guest speakers were Magic 105.4FM radio presenter Harriet Scott and Professor Paul Standish from University College London, sharing words of wisdom with graduating students before they take their next step in life.

After the ceremony everyone returned to the Vincent Rooms where the fantastic Hospitality and Culinary Arts students cooked and served canapés and drinks.

Supporting Colleges Week #LoveOurColleges

We have signed-up to support Colleges Week, which runs from 15 to 19 October.  It’s part of the #LoveOurColleges campaign and will see colleges across the country showcasing the brilliant stuff they do, day in and day out.

The week is also calling for more funding for Further Education. Why?

Every year 2.2 million people of all ages get some form of educating and training from a Further Education college. Colleges make a phenomenal difference to the lives of thousands of people of all ages every year.

But funding for Further Education is in crisis. Over the last decade, colleges have had an average 30% funding cut which is making it a lot harder for people who really need it, to get the education that they deserve.

So, as well as celebrating the achievements of our staff and students, we are calling for four things:

  1. For the Government to increase 16-19 funding by 5% a year for five years and extend the pupil premium to cover post-16 students
  2. For the Department for Education to provide exceptional funding, ring-fenced for teacher pay
  3. Fully funding a National Retraining Scheme to support level 3 to 5 skills
  4. Introducing a lifetime learning entitlement to fund skills training for all adults who have not previously achieved a level 3 qualification

Education is an investment, not a cost. And it must never be a privilege reserved for those who can afford it. Support Colleges Week on Twitter and Facebook with #CollegesWeek and #LoveOurColleges

Mastercard Chairman inspires Victoria Centre students

Rick Haythornthwaite, the Chairman of global payments company Mastercard International and the FTSE 100 energy company Centrica PLC, visited Westminster Kingsway College’s Victoria Centre recently to speak to 60 of the college’s business students.

Rick has a wealth of high-level experience and shared some pearls of wisdom from his life in business with the students, who are just starting on their careers.

By his own admission, Rick, whose mother died when he was young, was an unruly teenager and had no idea what he wanted to do. But with focus and determination, he managed to gain a place studying Geology at University, where he got his degree and was hired by the global oil giant, BP.

Rick has distilled a lifetime of experience into a few ‘secrets of his success’:

  1. Think about the future that you want
    Imagine it and use that ‘imagined future’ to help you decide whether to do a certain thing or not. So, when faced with a choice or an opportunity, ask yourself: “Will this help me get to my imagined future?” “Will this open up more opportunities for me?” and “Will it harm me or other people I care about?”
  2. Be prepared
    Be really prepared. Be more prepared than the next person. Whatever you are doing, always be prepared.
  3. Build a network
    Collaboration and communication are key to business success. So, forge networks and build relationships with people.

Rick also answered questions from the audience – ranging from “What’s best: to go to university or to go for an apprenticeship?” (Answer: they are both good. University is more theoretical, whereas with an apprenticeship you’re in the business a lot more), to “What effect will Brexit have on your businesses?” to “What’s the most effective leadership style?

“I always enjoy the questions”, Rick told us afterwards, “because it forces one to think different things and it also gives me a sense of how the students are thinking. The students had some really good and insightful questions and I hope they all took something sway from my speech.”

Carlo Lui, Employability and Progression Lead at Westminster Kingsway College, organised the visit and said: “It was a pleasure to host Rick, who gave an insightful talk to our Business students. His advice was both practical and inspiring and left the students realising they can achieve anything by aiming to be the best version of themselves and treating others with respect along the way.

Anaina Podaru is a second-year Business – Level 3 Extended Diploma student and enjoyed Rick’s presentation. She said: “I found it really interesting and useful.”  Another student, Daniel Lindsey, said: “He inspired me, how he went from doing a degree in Geology to being Chair of Mastercard”, while fellow student Ghazi Ranjha was similarly impressed – both with Rick’s high profile and his enormous experience.

Rick’s has executive and Board-level experience across a range of sectors. As well as being Chair of both Mastercard International and Centrica PLC, he is Chair of the Creative Industries Federation and is co-owner of the world’s largest glass tableware producer.  He has also been non-Executive Chair of Network Rail, and a non-Executive Director of the chemicals company ICI and Land Securities PLC, the UK’s largest commercial property development and investment company.

WestKing students support Career Ready plans to transform 13,000 young people’s lives

On Thursday 11 October, students discussed plans to transform 13,000 young people’s lives across Camden and Islington with education charity Career Ready at Westminster Kingsway College’s King’s Cross Centre.

The college works with Career Ready to provide students, many from disadvantaged backgrounds, with mentoring, paid internships, masterclasses and employment activities to prepare them for work.

A panel of students joined in a discussion and shared their experiences of their work placements organised through the programme and were asked how they could be improved.

Anthony Bruton, Career Ready’s Regional Manager for Camden and Islington, said: “Camden and Islington are important boroughs to Career Ready because while pockets of affluence do exist here, so does deprivation.

“We need to ensure that local young people feel that they can access these opportunities, and the key to this is connecting employers directly with students.”

With 31% of students in Camden and 44% in Islington receiving Free school meals, compared to a national average of 13%, it is crucial that they are given the right support to transition from education to employment.

Jasbir Sondhi, Director of Learning Services at Westminster Kingsway College, said: “We know first-hand from our own students about what they have gained from their experiences of employer engagement, confidence and social capital is much more often valued than skills development.

“We don’t want to just give them a course, we want to give them a career”

WestKing has been assisting Career Ready for over a year with their Camden and Islington bid. The college is offering the Career Ready core programme which includes masterclasses, mentoring and internships. 30 students will be starting this programme in November with the aim to expand the programme offering this amazing opportunity to more students across the college.

Why Capital City College Group is supporting Colleges Week

Capital City College Group, our specialist apprenticeships training arm Capital City College Training, and our three colleges, have all signed-up to support Colleges Week, which runs from 15 to 19 October.  It’s part of the #LoveOurColleges campaign and will see colleges across the country showcasing the brilliant stuff they do, day in and day out.

The Week is also calling for more funding for Further Education. Why?

Every year 2.2 million people of all ages get some form of educating and training from a Further Education College. Colleges make a phenomenal difference to the lives of thousands of people of all ages every year.

But funding for Further Education is in crisis. Over the last decade, colleges have had an average 30% funding cut which is making it a lot harder for people who really need it, to get the education that they deserve.

So, as well as celebrating the achievements of our staff and students, we are calling for four things:

  1. For the Government to increase 16-19 funding by 5% a year for five years and extend the pupil premium to cover post-16 students;
  2. For the Department for Education to provide exceptional funding, ring-fenced for teacher pay;
  3. Fully funding a National Retraining Scheme to support level 3 to 5 skills;
  4. Introducing a lifetime learning entitlement to fund skills training for all adults who have not previously achieved a level 3 qualification.

Education is an investment, not a cost. And it must never be a privilege reserved for those who can afford it. Support Colleges Week on Twitter and Facebook with #CollegesWeek and #LoveourColleges

CCCG hosts teachers of Korea Polytechnics On a Customised Leadership Training Programme in London

Capital City College Group (CCCG) recently welcomed a group of 20 engineering faculty members from Korea Polytechnics to take part in a week-long bespoke Leadership training programme.

Korea Polytechnics is a collection of 11 colleges throughout 34 cities in Korea, where students attend one of their public vocational school for between two to three years. The group visited CCCG’s College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CoNEL) to experience the Construction and Engineering provision at the Enfield Campus. As part of their programme, the group made a trip to Kelly Rail; an engineering employer collaborating with CCCG on the delivery of apprenticeships. The highlight of the visit was a presentation provided by four apprentices currently working at Kelly Rail who spoke about the experience and the benefits of being on an apprenticeship.

The programme was extremely well received by the engineering faculty group with particularly positive feedback on the information provided at CoNEL and its facilities. This is the second cohort of KOPO faculty CCCG have received on a programme of this nature. CCCG look forward to continuing its relationship with Korea Polytechnics.

Queen's Award for Enterprise