Accessibility & Translation

Nurhayat Osman talks studying for FREE at CONEL

Nurhayat Osman has just completed her Beauty Therapy Level 2 at CONEL and hopes to progress into a full time role in the beauty industry.

The course provides students like Nurhayat with essential technical and practical skills, as well as the knowledge that will equip them for employment or further training in the beauty industry – for example as a Beauty Therapist.

Students are likely to choose this qualification if they want to kick start their career, as it provides a real opportunity for students to gain work specific skills and knowledge in beauty. As Nurhayat says: “It’s really exciting knowing that we have actual clients here in The Salon. When they tell me they’ve really enjoyed a treatment or I’ve given them a new look and they like it, I feel very proud of myself.

“The college has all the products we need to use for our clients and I enjoy giving the treatments such as facials, waxings, manicures, pedicures and applying eye make-up. This was my dream. I married when I was young and this was my last chance to do what I have always wanted to do. When you enjoy your job it makes it much easier to work.

“One of the reasons I chose CONEL was that the course was free and I was able to get a qualification that will benefit my career.

“I started on an ESOL course a few years ago before starting a Level 1 course and then progressing onto Level 2. It’s a big jump. When I started I did not know one word of English – now I feel I am getting much better.

“It’s a lot to learn and it was hard having two children on top of studying, but my teachers were great and were there for me if ever I had any problems. They really pushed me to do my best, and always gave me feedback on how I can improve myself.

“CONEL gives a lot of opportunities to its students and has everything needed to get your qualification and progress in to work.”

From ESOL to Engineering – An Van Pham Talks Joining CONEL

As an international student, An has made the most of his time at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London. In his first year at CONEL, An completed an ESOL course to improve his English skills and even won an award for his achievements. Now studying Engineering Level 2 plus a Maths GCSE, An’s week is jam-packed. Despite being busy, he loves his time in college and An knows that he can go to his teachers at any point if anything becomes too much for him.

An explained: “I’m studying at CONEL every day so it’s like home, people are really friendly and we’ve got all the equipment to help us. I like my class, the people are really funny. We are a small group and we feel like a family, we are together a lot.

“English is not my mother language, so in my first year here I did an ESOL course, and I won an award for my studies. I can see how much I progressed, I’m quite proud of myself. From my course I have improved a lot in my English communication and speaking skills.”

An went on to say: “It’s different from back home, speaking a new language, meeting new people from everywhere in the world. The teachers are really supportive here if I don’t understand I can ask and the teacher and they will explain it well to make sure that I understand fully.

“My time is busy here, Monday to Friday, working 9-5. I don’t want to miss my lessons so I have to arrange my lessons with GCSE Maths too. There’s a lot of homework from both courses, I have to arrange my weekends so I can get everything done.”

An hopes to apply for an apprenticeship in engineering when he completes his studies. His dream is to go to university once he’s got some work placement experience.

“It’s a Happy Place to Study” – Helia Talks Applied Science

Now in her second year at the Centre for Applied Sciences, Helia is currently planning for a career in cardiology. Earlier this year we sat down to talk about college, work and everything in-between, aiming to get a better idea of what makes a City and Islington College student special.

“I chose this college because of the environment,” Helia said. The soon-to-be specialist joined us in 2017 on a Level 2 in Applied Science and has since progressed to the two-year Level 3 in Medical Science.

“The atmosphere of this big college and the teachers that interviewed me played a big part in the decision. I really liked the college and decided to stay on for my Level 3.”

For some, the route into medicine is through Sixth Form, stepping up from GCSEs to A Levels and then progressing onto Higher Education at university. For Helia, however, an Extended Diploma in Applied Science offered a more comprehensive basis to work from.

“The best thing about my course is that it’s all about science; there’s a good balance of practical work, plus learning about all the inner-workings of the human body.

“This study programme has also allowed me to better understand what careers I can access through my course. There are many reasons why you might want to take a course in Biology or Physics or Chemistry, but Applied Medical Science really focuses your thought on the discipline, the methods, the career…

“The college has good ties with local institutions, especially for what I want to do. One of the opportunities I have had the chance to do is work experience at Islington Medical Centre, organised through the college. It was really great! I was there for a week and it gave me the opportunity to see that this is what I really want to do in the future.”

Helia joins us from a traditional school background and has learnt to appreciate the freedom and responsibility that comes with being a CANDI student.

“It’s different from school because you have more opportunities. You have more freedom. You can be yourself more because people are more mature because they’ve made the decision to change from high-school into a different, academic environment. I think people are more grown-up. There’s less bullying and more acceptance, which makes work and expression easier.

“Teachers are very friendly, too. Everyone is at least 16 so you are treated more like an adult. They are all very kind and rich in knowledge. Every time I ask a question they always have a good answer, and if I have a suggestion they always listen and take it into consideration.

“In a word? It’s a ‘happy’ place to study.”

“The whole CCCT team are amazing!”

Working at King’s College London since July, CCCT Apprentice Christopher Procopi has started studying our IT Infrastructure Technician – Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship.

As an Infrastructure Technician, Christopher provides technical support to internal and external customers at Kings College London – one of the world’s top universities, problem-solving and troubleshooting non-routine issues. He ensures that employees are set up on the relevant systems and provides support where needed.

As an apprentice, one day each week, Christopher studies a Level 3 IT course with us, to gain the technical and theoretical knowledge that he needs to back-up the practical skills he is learning on the job. During his 15-month apprenticeship, Christopher will learn about communication, IT security, data, remote infrastructure and problem-solving. He will also develop a working knowledge of a range of cabling and connectivity, various types of antennas and wireless systems and IT test equipment.

Christopher said: “I found out about Capital City College Training at the Job Centre. They sent me in to start the IT and Business for social media course. With help from Linford Coates (Employability Trainer) and the rest of the CCCT team, they have got me to where I am now, with a paid job and studying Level 3 IT.

“My favourite thing about working at Kings College London is doing the job I was born to do; troubleshooting computer problems and helping customers get back to where they need to be. It makes me feel very useful.

“My favourite two things about my course are the tutors and the qualifications I will have at the end. These things will help me further my career and earn more in the future. After my apprenticeship, I will hopefully progress onto a Higher Level Apprenticeship or a full-time job doing 2ndor 3rd-line IT support.

“My career ambitions are to continue working and studying so I can take on more challenging projects in the future. Getting on to networking, server maintenance and hardware repairs appeal to me too and I feel that this apprenticeship will give me the chance to do these things once I get my qualifications.

“I would like to thank Linford for helping me improve my CV and getting me prepared for my role, John James (Employer Engagement Coordinator) for giving me my first ever mock interview and Zahia Payne (Recruitment Executive) for helping me find my dream job. The whole team are amazing.”

Successfully completing one of our ICT and Computing Apprenticeships could eventually lead to roles such as:

  • Helpdesk Professional: £30,160
  • Software Developer: £41,600
  • Database Administrator: £21,840
  • Senior Database Administrator: £50,000
  • Network Engineer: £28,600
  • Technical Architect or IT Systems Architect: £44,720
  • Systems Analyst: £46,280

CCCG Staff Raise Over £1000 for Cancer Research UK

A group of staff from Capital City College Group walked through the night in aid of Cancer Research UK recently, raising over £1,200 for the charity.

The group were participating in the Shine Night Walk London – a charity event run by Cancer Research UK. This year’s walk took place on Saturday 21 September and had over 1100 participants on the 10k walk. An annual event since 2011, there are walks in London, Birmingham, Cambridge, Cardiff, Glasgow, Leicester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Southampton and York.

CCCG - Cancer research UK

In all, nine members of Capital City College Group staff participated in the walk, raising over £1,200, well surpassing their goal of £450.

One of the walkers, Louise Ambrose, who works in Human Resources, said, “I enjoyed the walk as it was a great atmosphere and for a really worthy cause. My family has been impacted by cancer in many ways over the years. My Nanna passed away in 2006 of pancreatic cancer and in 2012 my mum had a long fight with throat cancer and survived – and I’m really proud of the way she bounced back from it. One of my best friends, Angela, lost her 18-month fight with brain cancer in 2015 which was devastating as she was such a happy and successful person with two lovely children which she left behind. This year has been another sad year as we lost my brother-in-law to liver cancer and my father-in-law to kidney cancer. So Cancer Research UK (and all cancer charities) means a lot to me.”

Would you like to take part in a Shine Night Walk yourself?
Gather with thousands of others at a Shine Night Walk in 2020 and light up the streets of your chosen city! Take on a challenge like no other – a night-time walking marathon, half marathon or 10k. Select the cancer type you want to support and then raise as much as you can to beat cancer. Sign up here today!

Back to School with Berivan

Calm, composed and professional, Berivan joined us on a Level 2 course in childcare and is currently preparing for life after Further Education.

At the start of 2019, we interviewed a handful of students on their time at the college, asking the big questions about life, future and hard work. This is Berivan’s story.

Berivan joined City and Islington College at the recommendation of her family and friends to become a primary school teacher. She tells us that her ambition since secondary school was to end up in a teaching environment, giving something back to the community: “No matter what, I’ll try my best.”

Berivan has a clear plan mapped out from her Level 2 childcare qualification at the Centre for Health, Social and Childcare. From here, it’s only a small step up to a Level 3 Extended Diploma at the college, and then another up to university.

While you do not need a degree to become a primary school teacher, it is a recommended path for would-be educators looking to qualify. A number of programmes are available at undergraduate level, although degree into PGCE is still a fairly traditional route.

“I really enjoy the practical activities that we do, especially the placements in childcare. I work in a nursery and really enjoy it. CANDI is getting me ready for the next step but is also giving me experience doing what I want to do. I can be sure that this is the career I want.

“I’m preparing to be independent. The difference between secondary school and college is that at school they give more pressure, but at college, you either do the work or you don’t. You learn that you are an adult and the responsibility is yours.

“That said, I feel the teachers have been really supportive. If I don’t understand the questions, the teachers help me; they show me the techniques and ideas that I need to know.

“The culture is different, too. There’s an after school homework club, a lot of catch-up sessions – the opportunities for feedback and support are there if you want them.”

Berivan goes on to talk about the different options that become available with a childcare course. She says she did not realise the prospects opened up through the course: “If you leave with Level 2 and Level 3 you can work in a nursery, as a primary school assistant… there’s lots of routes you can choose. It’s not just a primary school teacher. You could become a childminder, a nanny, open your own nursery. There are a lot of opportunities.

“If I were to sum up my experience here in a word, it would be joyful. They really care here. They want me to be successful. I am going to go to university, which makes me happy and proud.

“I would tell anybody to look around before making a decision, but this is a good college. My friends and family recommended City and Islington College to me, but I have found out for myself that it’s a good place to be.”

20 Looms for 20 Girls – Fundraising for Sri Lanka

CONEL’s Assistant Principal, Marcia Summers, is raising money to support Sri Lankan women who have been sexually abused – giving them useful skills to help them earn a decent living.

Marcia said: “I am currently fundraising for 20 portable rigid heddle looms for the refuge at the ‘Women’s Development Centre’ (WDC) in Kandy, Sri Lanka, and the ‘Their Future, Today’ girls’ refuge in Galle, which is in the south of the island. The looms cost £159 each, so I am attempting to raise £3,200.

“I’m raising funds for these looms as part of a wider British Council project called Crafting Futures. We’ve put in a bid to the British Council for up to £5,000 to fund a UK-based craft practitioner to travel overseas to undertake a project with a local community to support the development of a particular craft. Krys, a very creative friend of mine, will go to Sri Lanka in April 2020 to deliver a training course at the WDC shelter on the outskirts of Kandy and another at the girls’ refuge in Galle.

“Our proposal is to teach young girls, often aged 12-21 years old, who have been sexually abused and who are living in a refuge recovering from the abuse, the skills to make beautiful hand-woven scarves.

“The idea is to give the girls/young women weaving skills along with a loom, so that when they return home or are living independently they can generate their own income through the sale of their scarves to the local tourist industry or/and via ETSY (a Global online marketplace where people make, sell and buy unique items). The girls already learn independent living skills in the shelters such as growing food, food preparation, cooking simple meals, sewing and weaving. Learning to use a heddle loom will give them a very specific skill, enabling them potentially to earn a living for themselves.

“However, there is a huge further benefit to weaving and that is weaving as therapy. Creative activities are essential for the girls to promote their well-being after the trauma they have suffered, or in the words of Pearl Stephen, the late founder of WDC, ‘to help bring the girls to a position of normalcy, post their traumatic experiences.’

“Thank you so much for your ongoing support. The success of this project will make a very significant difference to lives of vulnerable people in Sri Lanka.”

If you would like to donate any funds to support the purchase of the looms please go to Marcia’s fundraising page here or, if you would like to donate yarn, please contact Marcia via email at

CANDI Creative’s 48 Hour Film Challenge Winner

CANDI Creative have announced Fabian Ruci as the winner of its 48 Hour Film Challenge, an extracurricular competition asking students to produce a three minute short to be published on YouTube or Vimeo.

Based at the Centre for Business, Arts and Technology, CANDI Creative is the college’s in-house commercial production company, helping students to develop their skills and portfolio while studying at the college.

On 14 October 2019, judges Juliana Crisera and Jimmy Nguyen concluded the group’s competition, awarding winner Fabian Ruci a £100 cash prize for his film, Post Apocalyptic.

Students were told to produce a three-minute film on a topic of their choice in the first half of the autumn term, given only the specifications to include the colours pink and yellow, and the CANDI Creative logo.

Judges made their decision based on creativity, inventiveness, audience engagement and clarity of ideas.

Judge and company director Jimmy Nguyen said: “Fabian’s piece was unique in its ways. The introduction to his narrative was effective and so inspiring. Filming with what he had – a phone? That is beyond me. I am speechless to say the least.

“Choosing the right gear is an important decision in filmmaking as it is important to get what is right for you… but the pursuit of gear for its own sake is a distraction from filmmaking. The trouble is, focusing on equipment is a tempting distraction because buying stuff is quick and easy, whereas learning a skill – understanding an art-form – is hard and time-consuming.

“Fabian had a vision for a bigger picture. He put his high-end camera away and decided to not film his 48-hour film submission with it, but rather to see what he could do with a mobile phone – how capable it is at capturing video. That in itself is why it was so inspiring to me, with great use of our inclusions of pink and yellow and a wide array of effects such as green-screening and visual compositing. That is what made it so creative.

“This competition seeks out creative individuals that have an interest in the process of film production, the desire to execute an idea they may have had for a while; this was the time for them to show us what they are made of and to score a spot on our management team or a spot on our roster as part of work experience. This allows students to get paid by doing commissioned work from a range of clients as a commercial production company.”

A runner-up award was also presented to Teni Anakoya for his video, Aspire.

Sixth Form College Celebrates Black History Month

On Tuesday 15 October, City and Islington College students organised a celebration of black history at the Sixth Form College in Angel.

Sixth Form students organised the event as part of Black History Month, an annual observation of the contributions to society made by people of Afro-Caribbean ethnicity.

Event organiser and A Level student Harry O’Connell said: “The idea for the Black History Month event was predominantly student-led. The students had their own ideas on how to celebrate and commemorate this month, which all came together under one space with the help of youth worker, Yasmin Whittaker Khan, who gave students a space to allow their ideas to come to life.

“We wanted to achieve a fun yet informative event where people from all ethnicities can come together to learn about and celebrate black history and the huge impact it still has in today’s society.”

The event picked up on different elements of Afro-Caribbean tradition, including a variety of homemade food from around the world, an open mic session and a quiz. From 3pm, students were invited to take to the stage and share songs and poems to a large audience.

Efforts to raise awareness of black history are made each year by all five City and Islington College centres. This year our libraries put on displays of related literature and our Centre for Lifelong Learning invited students to write short articles for their Wall of Fame on the Blackstock Road.

Black History Month originated in the United States and was originally conceived by American historian Carter G. Woodson, who wrote: “If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition” and urged schools and the press to distribute literature on black history. Black History Month aims to acknowledge the role of the African diaspora in Western society and is recognised today by other countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany and the Netherlands. It was first celebrated in the United Kingdom in 1987.

WestKing students’ Prize-winning Artwork Unveiled at London Site

On Thursday 17 October, creative students from Westminster Kingsway College saw their colourful designs unveiled on a prominent hoarding outside the future headquarters of global engineering consultancy organisation, Dar Group.

The hoarding is part of a set of exterior hoardings that wrap around the whole site on the corner of Grays Inn Road and Holborn – one of London’s busiest junctions – and will be seen by hundreds of thousands of people over the next two years, while Dar Group’s new London headquarters are being built.

The hoarding, on the upper Grays Inn Road section of the site, was designed by a team of three first-year Digital Arts and Photography students: Patricia Gallego, Charlotte Allcock and Annie Koyce. They won a design competition, to a brief set by Dar Group, which asked 15 of our students to come up with a design for a hoarding on the theme of ‘Connection’. The concept of connection and collaboration is very important to Dar Group as its new building is designed to enable the group’s different companies and teams to connect and collaborate on world leading projects.

Winners Patricia Gallego, Charlotte Allcock and Annie Koyce with their hoarding

The competition tasked students with designing “a visual statement that portrayed the inspiration, ambition and vision of the new building”. Using skills that they will need in their future careers in the creative industries, the students analysed the brief and worked up their designs, which were judged by Dar Group’s project team.

The winners were announced in April and the hoarding itself has now been printed and installed at the site. On Thursday 17 October, WestKing staff and all the students who entered the competition were able to see the hoarding in place as well as have a tour of the building site.

Still in its early stages, the construction phase is due to last approximately two years and at its peak, around 170 people will be employed on-site in various construction trades. The building’s shell and core is due to be completed in July 2021, with the interior design fitted out by October 2021. When it’s finished, the building will be 8 storeys (30 metres) high and will house all Dar Group’s London-based companies and teams.

Westminster Kingsway’s Employability Lead Carlo Liu said: “This project is just the first in what we and Dar Group both hope will be a long-term partnership that will enable many of our students to boost their employability and gain experience in built environment professions such as engineering, design and planning.”

A spokesperson from Dar Group said: “The winning design in our view reflected all that the Dar Group and indeed our new headquarters in London is all about, Collaboration and Connectivity. We were delighted to see the standards by all the students’ teams, which made judging of the winning team all that more difficult, but congratulations should be paid to all. It has been a great start to the relationship between Westminster Kingsway and the Dar Group and we look forward to more collaborative projects with the college for years to come.”

Lecturer in Digital Imaging Paresh Parmar said: “We like to thank Dar Group for providing us with a very exciting inspiring live project brief for our group of students to engage with and respond to – offering a unique opportunity to experience working on a real project during their studies. It was exciting to be able to see the winning hoarding design turned into a long wall installation, and very interesting to see the construction site that lies behind it. The students have been inspired by their trip today and I am looking forward to working with them in this, the progressing second year of their course.”

Queen's Award for Enterprise