January 2019 - Capital City College Group
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CONEL Becomes One Of The First Mayor’s Construction Academy Hubs

The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London has become one of the first Mayor’s Construction Academy (MCA) hubs. CONEL successfully bid to be one of six MCA Hubs after gaining the Mayor of London’s MCA Quality Mark in recognition of its high quality training in July 2018. 

Jules Pipe CBE, Deputy Mayor of London for Planning, Regeneration and Skills, launched the hubs at City Hall on 25 January, which was attended by CONEL Interim Principal Kurt Hintz, Assistant Principal Marcia Summers and Glen Lambert, Head of School for Construction.

The MCA hub programme will see a £300,000 investment in construction training at the college, across both our Enfield and Tottenham Centres.

CONEL was backed in its application by many leading construction employers, training providers and local authorities, including Kier, MIT, Sir Robert McAlpine, The institute of Concrete Technology, Middlesex University, Evolve Apprentices, Women into Construction as well as Haringey, Enfield and Camden Councils.

Mahroof Anwar, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at Kier, said: “We look forward to a close working relationship with the hub to ensure a skilled construction workforce is sustained for London, and working closely with hub partners to provide sustained training and employment opportunities.”

Raman Mangabhai, President of The Institute of Concrete Technology, said: “We are committed to working with the College and its partners to ensure more Londoners train in the skills they need to access construction related vacancies.”

Mark Booth, Employment Services Delivery Manager at Camden Council, said: “Delivering a skilled construction workforce is a priority for Camden, and we look forward to working closely with CONEL to provide employment opportunities for local people.”

The MCA programme aims to:

  • Boost the number of skilled workers and opportunities in construction, particularly for women and those from black and ethnic minorities.
  • Provide more high-quality training and initiatives across the capital to give Londoners the skills needed to enter and progress in construction.
  • Increase collaboration in the sector, particularly between small and medium sized businesses and construction skills training providers.
  • Support the development of training provision for the construction of more prefabricated housing in London.

The theme of CONEL’s hub is Building Services and will primarily focus on mechanical and electrical training along with building information modelling, building management systems, prefabricated manufacture, quantity surveying and construction, and site administration.

This will add to the college’s apprenticeship provision and range of construction courses in brickwork, carpentry, plumbing and electrical installation, which are free to 16 to 18s and for adults up to Level 2.

The college also offers a wide range of free short courses, and recently launched a series of Women Into Construction courses following the success of the MCA hub bid.

Assistant Principal Marcia Summers said: “We are excited to be named among the Mayor of London’s first construction hubs. It is a real testament to the exceptional training we already provide at CONEL and our reputation in the industry.

“We have already made a start in offering short construction courses specifically for women. It is our hope many of them will progress to mainstream courses and gain professional qualifications within the construction industry.

“The MCA scheme also enables us to work with a much wider range of construction employers and offer more training provision to meet their demands and address the shortage of skilled construction workers in London.”

‘Pattern Up’ Visits CONEL

A group of local actors performed their debut play “Pattern Up” to over 100 students last week, visiting the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London’s Tottenham Centre on Tuesday 15 January 2019. The play was written by one of the stars of the show Marika McKennel and is based on the real life experiences of co-stars and community activists Ken Hinds and June Tutt.

“Pattern Up” is a new play impacting on young African Caribbean men and women in Haringey, exploring themes of family, violence, race and personal redemption.

The play, named after British slang meaning to respect your elders, follows the lives of stars, Merika McKennell, Jae Marcus X, Ken Hinds, June Tutt and Efeosa Afolabi, and the story of the two young boys living in London and how their choices effected those around them. The play starts with a mother and father (June and Ken), sending their eldest son (Jae) to Antigua after he narrowly escaped jail for gang violence. The story then follows Jae’s younger brother Efeosa and friend Marika as they continue down the same criminal path as Jae while Ken and June act as narrators for the story, showing the effects the boy’s actions have on them and those around them.

As the story progresses, Efeosa and Merika decide to rob a corner store , which results with Efeosa dying. The story is concluded by first son Jae, returning from Antigua and trying to redeem himself. Jae delivers a powerful speech to the audience about how you can change no matter what you have done previously.

Student Osman Abdikarim said: “I think it was really touching. In my area there isn’t that much violence, but this has shown me what is happening in London and how to prevent it. Other schools should definitely have this.”

Anthony Robinson, Head of Learner Experience Manager said: “Activities like these give our students the opportunity to reflect upon a wide range of social issues affecting our local communities and to engage in exploring solutions.”

Star Ken Hinds said: “The theme is very dear to me, due to how the story relates to me. It also holds the historical tragedy I feel I still hold which I don’t want to project onto my children. We as a society can address these issues in different ways such as this play rather than just through lessons in a classroom at school.”

Blog: We need to talk about maths

I’m no good with maths

Maths just isn’t my strong point

I don’t do maths!

How often have you heard statements like this – not just from students, but maybe members of your own family? Maybe you’ve even said something like this too?

In the UK, it seems almost OK not to be good at maths. Where we would hide in shame (and many people do sadly) if we couldn’t read, many of seem to be fine with having a similar lack of maths skills.

More worryingly, this lack of skills is affecting students’ wellbeing and self-esteem. Every year, over 300,000 young people resit their GCSE maths and, worryingly, some 19 year olds are now on their sixth or seventh maths GCSE resit.

The maths skills crisis is harming people’s job prospects too. If you want a job – almost any job – you need some fluency in maths.

So, something needs to be done. The Capital City College Group runs three London colleges (City & Islington, CONEL and Westminster Kingsway) and, just before Christmas, we hosted a maths conference for just over 100 staff across our colleges. Our aims were to highlight the issue and help our staff to raise their game, by learning from each other and sharing the best of what they already do.

At the conference, which we believe was the first of its kind, staff heard from leading maths experts, like Julia Smith (a trainer and maths author for the AOC, the AQA and BBC Bitesize) and representatives from Pearson and MEI (the A Level and GCSE maths assessment body).

Our aims were to highlight the issue and help our staff to raise their game, by learning from each other and sharing the best of what they already do. This video explains more of the rationale behind the conference.

Delegates were exposed to a smorgasbord of ideas to help them enhance their practice and help students boost their skills, self-esteem, and their grades. They got advice and guidance on the new Functional Skills reforms and learned strategies to help students break out of their negative thinking around maths and gain the skills that they need. They also left armed with a toolkit of resources for teaching, learning and assessment. We also learned from delegates that they have a huge appetite for embracing technology into teaching maths.

We even learned this amazing method of multiplying the tricky numbers from 6 to 10! Try it with your students!

Feedback has been brilliant. Of those who responded to our post-conference survey, almost 98% said that they day had been both enjoyable and useful, while just 2.3% said that they did not feel more confident about applying the skills they had learned, in the classroom.

As one teacher who attended put it: “I really enjoyed the conference: it was very inspirational to speak with a wide range of teachers and staff across all our sites to discuss efficient methods for sustainable learning.”

We were delighted, but not entirely surprised, by the success of this event, and we are planning a similar conference later this year for our English provision.

By Julie Sinclair, Head of Development and Innovation Unit at Capital City College Group

CCCG win Visual Effects tender

Capital City College Group have won a contract for Capital City College Training and Westminster Kingsway College, beating-off competition from universities, to deliver a new Visual Effects (VFX) Apprenticeship.

Westminster Kingsway College and Capital City College Training will be delivering two Apprenticeships in partnership with the NextGen Skills Academy: Junior 2D Artist and Assistant Technical Director. Both will be starting in January 2019.

Tom Box, Managing Director of Blue Zoo Animation, (Member of the NextGen Employer Selection Panel) said, “We were very impressed with Westminster Kingsway’s proposal to deliver the VFX apprenticeships, combining the experience of their current VFX courses, strong industry links and central location, they seemed a perfect fit.”

The Apprenticeships that Westminster Kingsway will be delivering have been designed to develop core skills and enable progression not only within the VFX industry but also into related sectors such as software development or digital marketing.

This partnership will give our students the opportunity to learn and work alongside professionals in high-profile VFX studios, including Framestore, DNEG, Bluezoo, Molinare, One Of Us, The Mill, Jellyfish Pictures, and Electric Theatre Collective.

The NextGen Skills Academy is a government and industry-invested company offering young people new pathways into various digital creative sectors, whilst at the same time addressing specific skills shortages that have been identified by employers in the games, animation and VFX industries.

Phil Attfield, NextGen’s VFX and Animation Partnership Director, said: “Both the Junior 2D Artist and Assistant Technical Director that will be delivered at Westminster Kingsway are Apprentice roles that lead to recognised positions within the VFX industry. An 18 year old who chooses an apprenticeship over a degree course is guaranteeing that everything they learn at college and on the job is helping them build a career. They quite literally learn while they earn and by the time they complete their apprenticeship can be two to three years ahead of a university student in their career journey.”

Sports teacher blogs on concussion and brain injury in sport

Nasir Uddin is a Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science at City and Islington College’s Centre for Applied Sciences. In the college, Nasir (a former sports science student himself) teaches and guide students studying for their Access to Higher Education and Level 3 Extended Diploma Sports Science qualifications.

As a practitioner of combat sports, he is also working on a PhD, studying the changes in the brain and periphery in relation to both concussion and dehydration in combat sports. He has written a blog An Introduction to Concussion within Combat Sports, in which he explains more about this important issue.

As Nasir explains: “Although my blog focuses on concussion in combat sports like boxing, Mixed Martial Arts and kickboxing, concussion can occur in any sport which involves physical contact, like rugby or football.

“My main take-away from the blog, would be for people who play sports, as well as parents and coaches to be more brain-aware and think about how they can minimise the risk to themselves when they play. Things like strengthening the neck muscles and understanding that helmets are not designed to prevent concussions, rather they exist to prevent skull fracture, so to not drop your guard and be relaxed about taking shots to the head or aiming head first into tackles.

“I have a personal interest in the subject too. Back in 2015, I’d suffered from a seven-day long migraine and in 2015, had to have a CT scan on my brain. Doctors diagnosed a cyst, which they are still monitoring. While neither my doctors nor I can say how I got the cyst or if my sporting activities contributed to me getting it, it has definitely made me think a lot more about my brain’s health.

How Apprenticeships Can Help Growing Sectors in 2019

Throughout the digital age we have witnessed the revolution of pretty much every existing industry, as well as the birth of several new ones. As an essential aspect of the business world, apprentices are a unique and valuable resource to companies in growing sectors.

If the current trajectory of the business world and the evolution of technology are anything to go by, it’s safe to say we can expect big things from today’s growing industries. Today’s generation has grown up in an era where technology and the internet dominate many aspects of everyday life and, therefore, they possess skills and knowledge that can benefit any modern company.

In this post, we’ll discuss the advantages of hiring an apprentice and, more specifically, how they can have a positive impact on companies in growing sectors.

Virtual Reality

The concept of virtual reality has been around for a long time — be it in films, books or computer games — but, thanks to the advances of modern technology, it’s something that is finally a reality. The global VR industry is expected to be worth over £31 billion by 2020, with major players such as Sony, Microsoft, Facebook, GoPro and many others set to dip their toes in the virtual waters.

Today’s young people are not only familiar and adept with technology, but they are also, in many cases, the target market of major tech corporations. It’s for this reason that taking on an apprentice could hugely benefit VR companies, as it gives them access to the opinions of the youth — the major players of the digital age. Their enthusiasm for technology and genuine excitement about the possibilities of VR will also be refreshing to a team seeking inspiration and motivation.

Digital Marketing

You will have undoubtedly stumbled upon the term ‘SEO’ during your time online researching how to grow your business. This stands for ‘Search Engine Optimisation’ and relates to the various marketing techniques used to improve the ranking of a website on search engines, such as Google. SEO is essential for any business owner looking to increase sales, reach a larger audience and become an authority in their industry. This need for businesses to succeed online has opened the door for digital marketing to become one of the fastest-growing industries of recent times.  

For apprentices, the digital marketing industry is rife with vast and varied opportunities. For example, those with an aptitude for writing can pursue content marketing, while those who possess a working knowledge of websites — or willingness to learn — can opt for SEO or web development careers.

Every year, there are more students graduating university and finishing A-levels, which provides marketing companies with a fresh batch of highly-skilled and motivated young people looking for work, many of which might have the skills, knowledge and creativity to be the next big thing in the digital marketing world.


‘Fintech’, or financial technology, is a broad term that refers to the types of technology – whether software or devices – commonly used by financial institutions. Fintech applications such as mobile payments, crowdfunding and online money transfers have revolutionised the world of small business, making crucial aspects of finance, such as accepting payment and international transactions, easier to handle. This increases a business’s chance of success and longevity and makes the day-to-day aspects of running a small business more manageable.

Aside from the complexity of Fintech and its impact on the modern business world, it creates multiple job opportunities for those with an interest in technology or economics. As a Fintech company, apprenticeship training could be the perfect way to build a team of young professionals with their finger on the pulse of technology.


Although they have been utilised by the military for several decades, it’s only been in the last ten to fifteen years that drones have been used commercially. Drone footage has been widely used in films, television and other forms of media – one of its most notable uses is BBC’s Planet Earth 2. But the use of an onboard camera has also revolutionised other industries, such as construction and farming, which now have the ability to survey and map out large areas with ease.

When you consider how many young people are using drones today, whether, for fun or filmmaking, we already have an abundance of professional drone pilots in the making. For businesses, this creates a unique opportunity to hire apprentices with previous experience flying drones and build on this to suit the needs of your company.

Queen's Award for Enterprise