February 2019 - Capital City College Group
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CONEL Student Becomes First Accountant From Young Leaders Programme

Ex-student Akash Ruparelia has made history by becoming the first ever fully qualified chartered accountant to graduate from the Leadership Through Sport & Business (LTSB) programme. Akash, 23, says he felt lost after failing his first year of college but was given a second chance to succeed by LTSB, who helped transform his life.

LTSB is a unique scheme that provides bright, underprivileged youngsters with unique opportunities and access to business and finance careers with major firms. LTSB prepares young people for the world of work and provides support throughout the first year or more of their employment. LTSB has worked with the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London for a number of years now offering these fantastic opportunities to its students.

Akash, who was part of the first group of young leaders to join the programme in 2012, said: “I went to The Magna Carta School in Staines where I got good grades and then went onto college but after a few weeks I knew it wasn’t for me. I stuck at it but ended up failing my first year.

“I was at a really low point but then I started looking into apprenticeships through the National Apprenticeship Service and came across LTSB. As well as always being good with numbers, what really caught my interest was that I’d be working with Tottenham Hotspur Foundation as part of the programme. I thought if they’re associated with a top football club they must be credible and so I took the opportunity and it paid off.

“I found the last five exams to become a fully chartered accountant really tough, the final stage took a lot of hard work just to get over the pass mark. I was doing weekend tuition and staying late at work, it was hard.

“I knew I was on track to be one of the first to qualify but it was never the aim however it’s a nice thing to know, especially being on the first year of the programme where there were so many talented individuals.”

LTSB offers intensive training with blue-chip companies and elite football foundations, which helps young people develop personally and professionally, preparing them for the business world.

He added: “It was brilliant to do social action in the community with the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, I didn’t know Premier League clubs had outreach programmes, it was very eye opening. I was coaching football in local schools and it was great to get an FA Level 1 coaching badge and help the local communities surrounding the club. On top of working towards getting my accountancy qualifications with CONEL, it was important to learn new skills as part of the course, skills that are transferable into a business environment.”

LTSB placed Akash in an apprenticeship scheme with BayernLB to study AAT Level 3 and 4. After that Akash went on to work for Royal Windsor Racecourse and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, before securing a role as a Financial Analyst for global firm, Johnson & Johnson.

It wasn’t all plain sailing for Akash, he found the transition to working in a big company difficult but this is where the support system from LTSB and CONEL made a massive difference.

He said: “Everyone was just so helpful, right from the top with David Pinchin, the founder.

“David gave me a second chance. I can’t thank him enough for setting up LTSB. I wouldn’t have been accepted onto any other programme like this because of my grades but they saw the potential in me. When I joined the LTSB programme I had a goal, something to work towards and without David I wouldn’t have had this amazing opportunity.”

“It’s been hard but I’m reaping the rewards now. It was surreal to be offered a position at Johnson & Johnson as a Financial Analyst 8 months ago, especially after being told by my sixth form tutors at college that I wouldn’t be successful unless I went to university.  I’m thrilled to be working for one of the largest and most globally recognised companies in the world, it’s an incredible feeling.

“To anyone thinking about joining the LTSB programme I would say do it. Having accountancy qualifications gives you such a great foundation and means you can work in virtually any business.”

Japanese Students Visit Enfield Centre to Learn About Nursing in the UK

50 students from Japanese nursing school, Saitama Medical University Junior College, visited The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London’s Enfield Centre yesterday, Tuesday 26 February 2019, to gain a greater understanding of the way nursing is taught in the UK.

The Japanese students were keen to see how teaching and practice differs between the UK and Japan, so the group divided their time between visiting CONEL and a local hospice. At CONEL, the students and their tutors were greeted by Access to Nursing tutor, Christine Peck, who introduced them to our Nursing Access to Higher Education Diploma students, before running workshops to help students discover what similarities and differences there are between them, and to help them learn from each other.

Christine Peck, said: “Today has been very interesting. I think it will make my students appreciate how broad their course is, despite it being difficult. In the UK we go into a lot more detail about mental health, sociology and psychology than they do in Japan. The Japanese students are very interested in the NHS as it is so different from their healthcare system and were shocked at how much work our access students do in just 9 months.”

Lunch gave our students and their Japanese counterparts the chance to learn about each other’s courses and cultures. CONEL student Doreen Addo said: “Getting to talk to the Japanese students has been very insightful, especially finding out how they pick their courses and modules. It’s also interesting to know that their courses are funded the same way as ours – either by parents, loans or scholarships.”

Student Nashania Johnson said: “Talking to our visitors was really motivating.  They liked the way we are taught to think and work independently by our tutors, and they felt that our course was challenging but also very interesting.  We have so much in common and were touched that they wanted us to visit them”.

CONEL was recommended to the traveling school by Miki Travel after all 25 Nursing Access to HE Diploma students were successfully places in Higher Education institutions.

When asked for his reflections on the day, Saitama Medical University Junior College tutor, Atsushi Katsuhisa, said: “It was very excellent and easy to understand. Very good for our students and we found CONEL a very good college.”

CONEL student Ashley Kalulu, told us: “Meeting the students from Japan and learning how much they wanted to know about our training in Enfield made me much more motivated and appreciative of the Access course. It has increased my determination to do well”.

Centre for Applied Sciences hosts employability event

City and Islington College’s Centre for Applied Sciences recently hosted an employability event where students could meet potential future employers. Big name-employers, including KPMG, Zurich, Deloitte and the RAF came along to offer guidance to the college’s latest students.

The employability day is not a new trend for the college, and follows a tradition of hosting employability events at the centre. The college’s wider employability programme serves to prepare students for life beyond college, including workshops on self-presentation, strategic thinking, running your own business and networking.

A range of employers offered students an insight into different professions and sectors, detailing what may be expected of them in the workplace. Representing the railway industry, TfL, HS2 and Network Rail made an appearance. KPMG, Zurich, Deloitte and WSP brought expertise in business, and the RAF joined British Transport Police in speaking for the public sector. Newcomers to the events, Brunel University joined the Royal Veterinary College in discussing the benefits of going on to Higher Education. The staff from Brunel particularly appreciated the opportunity to speak to students about different pathways upon leaving college.

A spokesperson for HS2 said: “I haven’t done a careers event before, but I think it’s really nice to get out in our community, educating students about the different careers they can take within this company.”

Students fed back positively about the day too. Student Richard Adjei was pleased to better understand how his qualifications would influence his job and pay in the future, going on to say that the event was “very useful in teaching me how many different jobs there are for these companies.”

Career College students take on Amazon challenge for Samaritans

Students from Westminster Kingsway College have been challenged by Amazon Web Services (AWS) to develop an innovative digital solution to promote the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of young people. 

The live project is being run by the Career Colleges Trust in partnership with Amazon Web Services and Samaritans. Westminster Kingsway College is a digital Career College and the 12 WestKing students will present their solution to an expert judging panel at Amazon Web Services’ London HQ on 20 March. The judging panel also has representatives from London Sport, Marylebone Cricket Club and UK Active.

Our students are being joined by other Career College students from Barking & Dagenham College, BMet and Coleg Gwent, all of which also have digital Career Colleges.

The aim of the Amazon/Samaritans initiative is to give the group of 16-19 year olds an opportunity to work on a real industry brief, while supporting and raising awareness of this important issue for The Samaritans.

In addition, Samaritans will be visiting each of the four Career Colleges to help young people with the topic. In particular, they will be giving guidance about how to deal with the growing issue of male suicide, the biggest killer of men under the age of 45.

The full project brief was unveiled at a special all-day session, recently held at AWS HQ in central London. The eight-week challenge was explained and students also heard from each of the organisations involved, receiving valuable insight about the health and sports tech industries and the many technologies currently being developed.

The WestKing students – Deniz Kucukbalaban, Mihail Lukov, Nadina Ahmed, Muhammad Zakaria, Nojus Cebatorinunas, Eamonn Persuad, Mirza Dinarzee, Kyle Woodham, Sean Remorin, Mario Cunha, Ezekiel Lachevre and Ahmad Sulimani – are working in groups on one of three proposals. These proposals were chosen from over 500 ideas submitted by Career College students in the first stage of the project – with the winners presented with Amazon Echo vouchers at the briefing session.

Welcoming students to the briefing at AWS HQ, Digital Director at the Career Colleges Trust, Julia Von Klonowski, said: “This is the third year we have run a live project for our students in partnership with AWS and I am delighted that The Samaritans and the other partners have joined us this year.

“Working on such a worthwhile challenge is an amazing opportunity for Career College students. Not only does it offer first-hand experience of the real world of work, it gives them access to industry experts and insight into the many jobs and opportunities available within the digital sector and beyond.

“Our project theme of Wellbeing is hugely important at a time when mental health issues in our society are increasing. The use of technology to promote emotional and physical wellbeing among young people is an important approach and I look forward to seeing the many exciting and innovative ideas that our students come up with.”

The task must be managed and run in exactly the same way as any other ‘real’ industry project. Students will have two project meetings with the client during the eight weeks, focusing on design, finance and the project plan.

The student teams will return to AWS’ offices on 20 March to present their solutions, with prizes to be awarded to the winning projects.

Chris Hayman, Head of UK & I Public Sector, Amazon Web Services, said: “We are excited to be supporting the Career Colleges Trust and its students for a third year, with the aim to inspire the next generation of digital technology experts in the UK.

“Introducing young people to the latest and most innovative cloud technologies is critical for both today’s workforce and the workforce of the future.

“We know from the previous two years just how talented and creative Career College students are and we can’t wait to see what innovative ideas they develop to support The Samaritans on this very important issue of wellbeing.”

Westminster Kingsway College student Sean Remorin said: “The experience of going to AWS’ offices was absolutely fascinating. It was a really good experience as it helped me understand more about the workplace and an inspirational insight into the world of work.

“Being part of this project is an honour and a real opportunity to learn and take notes on how successful organisations operate.”

Samaritans Service Development Manager, Karen Harvey, said: “It’s crucial that young people have the opportunity to shape resources that are aimed at their age group, as they know best what will work. This project is a great opportunity for the Career College student to explore how technology can support their peers. Samaritans have developed resources in consultation with young people and we are excited to be part of this project and to see the innovative ideas that are being developed. 

“Samaritans’ DEAL resources, Developing Emotional Awareness and Listening are designed to develop skills to support young people, so that they can build their own emotional resilience and navigate the challenges life throws up, while supporting each other. It is essential to get the message across early that it is okay to seek help if you are struggling and highlight the different ways you can do this.”

#weareallimmigrants themed learning week

On 11 February, City and Islington College launched its 2019 Themed Learning Week. CANDI has run a themed learning week – organised entirely by teaching staff and students – for the past 5 years and this year’s week is called “Skin Deep – #weareallimmigrants,” focusing on the topic of immigration

GCSE English Teacher Sean Vernell was the main organiser. He said: “Skin Deep is about taking on issues of racism, as well as the issue of immigration, and why this college and elsewhere should celebrate multiculturalism, the richness of our cultural diversity and the economic importance of immigrants in our society.”

The week, which ran from Monday 11 to Friday 15 February, featured events, shows, music, talks, art, photography and performance. Students and staff across the college performed, displayed their work, recited and sang about the positive role that multiculturalism plays in our society.

Running alongside the events taking place at the college, City & Islington College’s Performing Arts Department have teamed up with Tate Modern and put on a multi-media interactive programme of events, as part of the gallery’s Tate Exchange programme.

Andy Forbes, Principal of City and Islington College said: “This week I had a wonderful experience, walking through the famous concrete halls of Tate Modern – the UK’s leading modern art gallery – to find a whole floor filled with work by City & Islington students. It was an extraordinary array of art installations, drama performances, music, textiles, origami, portrait painting, all on the theme of immigration, all jostling together in a noisy, exuberant crush.

“It was amazing – here were FE students transformed into modern artists, making powerful and imaginative statements about refugees and immigrants, both learning and expressing at one and the same time. Really impressive, and a huge achievement by the students and staff involved.

Albert Kennedy Trust Run LGBTQ+ Workshop

On Thursday 7 February 2019 students at The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London’s Tottenham Centre took part in an LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning and others) workshop to mark LGBTQ+ Month and to better understand what it’s like living as a member of the LGBTQ+ community.

As a nation, we pride ourselves on our tolerance, but according to the most recent Government National LGBT+ Survey in 2017, almost a quarter (24%) of LGBT+ people were not open about being LGBT+ with their own families, and more worryingly, 40% had experienced an incident because they were LGBT+, such as verbal harassment or physical violence, in the previous year.

More LGBTQ+ people live in London than any other part of the country. So, to raise awareness of the challenges that the LGBTQ+ community face every day, the Albert Kennedy Trust (AKT), an LGBTQ+ charity formed in Manchester in 1989, visited CONEL to deliver the workshop and educate students on their work.

Jason and Zoe from AKT facilitated an open and honest chat in which students were able to learn from each other by sharing their views, knowledge and experiences.

The workshop discussed around what the acronym LGBTQ+ stands for. After this the room was divided into groups where they completed task such as listing LGBTQ+ celebrities and discussing images of key moments in LGBTQ+ history.

CONEL student Mateusz Tylman said: “The workshop was very informative and helped me understand more about what the LGBTQ+ community is. I will keep in mind all the stereotypes people talk about and be more aware of how they can offend others.”

Zoe from AKT said: “I am inspired by the ways communities face the challenges they now come across and especially how young people respond to those. We are particularly important as a charity in terms of supporting vulnerable communities and tackling these tough issues.”

If you missed this event don’t worry, we have drop in sessions with the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation every Thursday 12-2pm. They are running 1-2-1 confidential meetings for CONEL students with experienced LGBTQ+ coordinators. There will also be a youth group activity, that will take place on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month from 4:30pm.

To find out more please contact Leah Stone on leah.stone@tottenhamhotspur.com or 07384 817 763.

Number of Adults Returning to Education Growing at CONEL

Like many adults enrolling at CONEL, Agnieszka Sandak chose to return to education to improve her English to enable her to better support her autistic son. Born in Poland, her knowledge of English made it complicated in getting the help she needed from social services, charities and other organisations.

Agnieszka, 43, who studied a Level 1 Functional Skills course in English, said: “I wanted to improve my English and have more confidence with social interaction with friends, and to help my autistic son.

“The course was amazing and the teacher was perfect and so helpful. My English was already quite good, but it has definitely improved a lot.”

Adnieska is one of a growing number of adults who are returning to education at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London to gain new or improve their existing skills.

Some have used them to boost their career prospects or help with their everyday lives, such as a DIY project or to improve their English or maths to help their children with their homework.

Geoffrey Forde, 45, who studied a Level 2 Plumbing Diploma, said: “The teachers really sparked my interest. The course was very practical and informative, and it has really increased my confidence.

“There was really positive atmosphere in the classroom and workshop, and a great camaraderie between the students.”

CONEL became London’s first free college in 2017-18, offering all its adult courses from Entry Level to Level 2 for free, resulting in a third more enrolments.

Free part-time evening and weekend courses were also added to CONEL’s provision, with some 40% of those studying these courses having gone on to further study at the college.

These now include a series of Women into Construction courses as a result of extra investment following CONEL becoming one of the first Mayor of London’s Construction Academy hubs.

Elizabeth Minter, 54, who studied a carpentry course last year used her new skills to build a lean-to at her home.

She said: “It’s been brilliant. It’s given me the confidence to know I can pick up a drill or a jigsaw and use it, rather than having someone else do it.”

For others, like Natalie Galloway, 36, the decision to do a bricklaying course was not just about learning new skills.

“You can save money if you need a job done when you can do it yourself, so it’s more financially beneficial,” she said.

CONEL offers free courses in Accounting, Business, Construction, Media Production and Games Design, Engineering, English and Maths, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), Hair and Beauty, Health and Social Care, Computing, Music, Public Services, Science, Sport and Fitness, Travel and Tourism and Teacher Education.

The college introduced the free courses in response to more adults being trapped in low skilled, low paid jobs, ot who may have been put off by the cost of returning to education or felt they did not have the time to study.

Interim Principal Kurt Hintz said: “Affordability is one of the main barriers to many wanting to go back into education. Previously, adult learners would have to cover the cost of their studies out of their own pocket.

“At CONEL we wanted to remove this barrier to give everyone the chance to get back into education, regardless of age or income, knowing that education is the key to accessing higher paid jobs and getting ahead.”

Students Get ‘Career Ready’ at CONEL

Once again The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London is running their student mentor programme with Career Ready, to prepare students for working life. The students met their mentors for the first time on 14 January 2019 at CONEL’s Enfield Centre.

Career Ready are a charity that offers a combination of group activities and employer engagement opportunities to prepare young people for the world of work. CONEL have worked with Career Ready for 6 years, offering students who successfully apply for the programme a mentor working in the sector they are interested in. This group of mentors work for household names, including Lloyds Banking Group, Santander Bank, HMRC, Pertemps Recruitment, Kaplan Financial and HM Treasury.

Students were introduced to their new mentors before watching a presentation by ex-mentee, Fatima Beedsay, who participated in the programme last year. She showed the new cohort the experiences they would be exposed to and the transferrable skills they would learn on the way. She rounded off her speech by saying: “This programme has helped me with many things especially my public speaking. After never doing any, three presentations later and I am here in front of you today.”

CONEL’s Programme Coordinator, Betty Benjamin told us: “This programme really sets students up for their future. Some students who have been on the programme before have gone on to university, apprenticeships and full time work. It builds confidence and opens students to the world of work, and is a great opportunity for them to start building their network.”

In their pairs, mentors and mentees then took part in an ice breaker quiz.

The event ended with a lunch, which was another opportunity for each student mentee to get to know their mentor and build rapport. Mentor Jane Penn, who was also part of the programme last year, said: “I think it’s a really valuable programme for both me and my mentee, I learn so much from them and it allows me to see what my mentee’s weaknesses and strengths are and help to build their confidence and bring them on to the next level.” 

For more information on the Career Ready programme, or to be part of the next cohort, please email Betty Benjamin at BBenjamin@conel.ac.uk

Everything an Employer Needs to Know about Paying an Apprentice

If you’re considering taking on an apprentice, it’s always a good idea to familiarise yourself with the finer details of what it entails. In this post, we provide employers with all of the information they need to know about paying an apprentice.

An apprentice possesses many traits that are hugely beneficial for today’s businessesand, over time, they have the potential to evolve into the elite of their chosen industry. It’s for this reason that companies shouldn’t ignore the importance of apprentices and should compensate them appropriately for their hard work. Fortunately, these days, paying an apprentice an unfair amount is against the law, but we’ll get to that later!

How Much Do I Have to Pay an Apprentice?

Every apprentice working in the UK should be paid the National Minimum Wage. It’s worth noting that there is a specific minimum wage amount for apprentices, so you can opt to pay them this rate, rather than the minimum wage for their age bracket. Of course, this is only the minimum you have to pay them, and you are entitled to increase their pay or provide bonuses at your own discretion.

Any apprentice under the age of 19 or over 19 and in their first year of an apprenticeship should be paid at least £3.70 an hour. Apprentices over 19 and who have completed their first year of an apprenticeship are entitled to the National Minimum Wage for their pay. So for example, if you have a 22-year-old apprentice who has just completed their first year of an apprenticeship, they are entitled to an hourly rate of £7.38.

Pay Conditions

As an employer, you are responsible for paying an apprentice’s wage and providing a contract of employment. All apprentices should be working under a training structure that meets apprenticeship standards, as well as be employed in a job role that gives them the opportunity to learn the vital skills and knowledge they need to pass training assessments.

You should also be paying an apprentice for the time they spend training, which could be at work, college, or through an independent training organisation. Although apprentices aren’t as established or experienced as your other employees, it doesn’t mean they are any less entitled to the same or similar benefits, such as sick pay or paid holiday.​

Apprenticeship Levy

In 2017, the UK government introduced a new apprenticeship funding scheme for business owners in an attempt to create millions of new jobs for young people. Although the apprenticeship levyis used to cover the cost of training and assessment for apprentices and not their wage, it’s something that every employer should be aware of. The levy works as follows:

  • The levy applies to public and private employers across all sectors with a payroll bill in excess of £3 million a year.
  • Employers with a pay bill that’s less than £3 million a year are not eligible for the apprenticeship levy, in which case they pay 10% of the cost for training, while the government covers the remaining 90%.

The levy is set at 0.5% of the total payroll and will be collected monthly via PAYE. Employers are given a £15,000 allowance to offset against their payments and the allowance operates on a month-to-month basis. This means you’ll have an allowance of £1,250 each month and any unused funds will accumulate over the year. The government will top up all levy pots by 10%, meaning that if you spend your monthly allowance of £1,250, the government will pay an additional £125.

Paying an Apprentice More Than the Minimum Wage

The National Minimum Wage is called the “minimum” wage for a reason, meaning that an employer is entitled to pay an apprentice however much they want, as long as it meets or exceeds the minimum wage. An apprentice is an extremely valuable asset who can genuinely improve a company in many ways, and this is something that several employers recognise and why they choose to pay their apprentices more.

If your company has a unique payment structure or a scheme that provides raises and bonuses to employees based on merit, apprentices can and should be entitled to participate.

Hiring an Apprentice

Taking on apprentice differs significantly compared to hiring a regular employee, as it’s not as simple as putting out an advert and waiting for them to arrive at your door. At CCCT, we use our vast network of industry links to find you the most efficient and suitable candidate to suit your company’s needs.

Every business is different and will require a unique apprenticeship structure in terms of training and assessment, which is something we have a great deal of experience in. This allows us to provide the perfect apprenticeship framework to aid the progression of your apprentice(s).

A vital aspect of hiring an apprentice is finding the right person for the job, which can be achieved with an in-depth and widespread recruitment campaign. We provide this dedicated service free of charge. Following an initial free consultation, we will gain a better understanding of the type of candidate you’re looking for and what you’re hoping to achieve. From here, we will get to work and find them for you!

David Martin awarded Technical Teaching Fellowship

Team Leader and Chemical Scientist David Martin, who works at City and Islington’s Centre for Applied Sciences, was awarded a Technical Teaching fellowship (TTF) at The Royal Society in London yesterday, 31 January 2019. The TTF programme is funded by a partnership between the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) and the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, to recognise and promote excellence in industrial and technical education. 

Fellowships are awarded to outstanding practitioners who are recognised for their high-impact teaching practice and the delivery of effective outcomes for learners. David was one of three individuals awarded the Fellowship. The three new Technical Teaching Fellows are all expected to share their learning and expertise across the sector as part of the award.

David Martin said, “This award is great. I feel as though I am just a normal teacher who had the opportunity to mentor some great people others over the years. My favourite thing about my job is being able to help students and help them enjoy science as much as me.”

“Apprenticeships are also a large part of what I do and being able to go out into the workplace and find out what employers want allows me to come back to the classroom and teach this.”

As a new Technical Teaching Fellow, David will:

  • Develop “Pathways to Impact”- knowledge transfer activity action plans, to maximise the benefit of his Fellowship for the students he teaches
  • Attend special developmental workshops over the coming year
  • Be allocated a programme mentor, who will support him for the duration of the programme
  • Be expected to disseminate his work at national conferences in 2020
  • Contribute to the delivery of a final report, written to engage and motivate technical education in his area of practice 

David went on to say, “Our students study at all levels from foundation to BTEC to Apprenticeships and we offer them a wide range of courses, both practical and theoretical. Centre for Applied Sciences is a great place to work, with all of us working for the same goal, helping students improve on and love their science.”

Queen's Award for Enterprise