Students get a taste of Korean culture ahead of trip to the country

Thirty students from Capital City College Group (CCCG) were given a fascinating insight into Korean culture, ahead of them travelling to the country this summer under the Turing Scheme, the UK’s global study and work programme.

The students discovered more about the East Asian nation and its people, lifestyle and customs when they recently visited the Korean Cultural Centre UK in Westminster.

They will be embarking on a 20-day educational trip to South Korea in July, which will give them the skills and experience they need to thrive in the global workplace of the future

Dr Jungwoo Lee, Director of the Korean Cultural Centre UK, and Ruby James, Event Coordinator at the Korea Tourism Organisation, welcomed the students and gave them an overview of the country.

Ruby referred to Korea’s recent surge in cultural popularity, known as the Korean Wave, including Oscar-winning film Parasite and Netflix TV series Squid Game and Kingdom.

She also gave an insight into the country’s history and traditions, including the four Hs: Hanguel – the Korean alphabet, Hanok – a traditional style of Korean house, Hanbok – traditional Korean clothing, and Hansik – Korean food.

Korean Culture seminar

Students enjoyed trying on some colourful hanbok, explored the centre’s vast archive of Korean films and literature and were in awe of the beauty of the cover artwork on many of the books.

Jack Griffin, 26, who is studying an Access to Higher Education Diploma in Computing at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL), was among the students on the visit.

He said: “It was a really enlightening and enjoyable experience. We were given considerable information about Korean culture and destinations to visit while we are there.

“I found it not only entertaining but also really educational. I enjoyed trying on traditional hanbok, which was a unique experience that I never thought I could do in London.”

The South Korea trip has been funded by the Turing Scheme and is being run in partnership with Keimyung College University (KMCU) in Daegu, Kyungbuk College and JEI University in Incheon.

Students have been participating in weekly Korean language classes at college to give them some basic communication skills to enhance their experience.

CCCG has proudly partnered with the Korean Cultural Centre UK on a number of occasions, including a popular Korean themed menu week at Westminster Kingsway College’s Brasserie restaurant and hosting Korean cooking classes, which will be returning later this year.

WestKing is home to one of the UK’s best hospitality and culinary schools and recently partnered with the Korean Embassy to host a cook-along with American-Korean celebrity chef Judy Joo. Watch the Kimchi cook-along with chef Judy Joo.

Seungeun Chang, Head of International Development and Operations at CCCG, said: “The visit to the Korean Cultural Centre UK was a perfect way to introduce our students to Korea. They’re now feeling even more excited about their upcoming trip.”

Skills Minister declares UK is ‘hungry for skills’ and urges employers to back apprenticeships

Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Alex Burghart MP declared the UK economy is “hungry for skills” at a construction and engineering conference during National Apprenticeship Week

Mr Burghart praised Capital City College Group (CCCG), which hosted the event, and employers for providing valuable careers and training opportunities when he spoke on 9 February.

CCCG’s apprenticeship and training provider Capital City College Training (CCCT) works with 950 employers to provide high-quality training to 2,000 apprentices each year.

Around 50 representatives from the construction and engineering industries attended the event at Westminster Kingsway College, which is also part of CCCG along with City and Islington College and the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL).

Companies and organisations in attendance included Alstom, Ardmore, Hitachi, CBRE, CITB, Denbre, Berkeley Group, North London Waste Authority, Mitie, Peabody, AECOM, Bowmer and Kirkland, Taylor Woodrow, Vistry Partnerships, Wates, McLaren, TfL, Perfect Welding, Building Heroes, the Greater London Authority, Enfield Council, Islington Council and the Royal Academy for Engineering.

CCCT works with employers across London to offer apprenticeship training in brickwork, plumbing, electrical installations, engineering and rail engineering.

Mr Burghart said: “It’s been a real pleasure for me going around the country meeting scores of people in different stages of their careers and lives who are really benefitting from this extraordinary way of working, whose time is really coming again.

“I don’t remember a time in my lifetime when the economy was so hungry for skills. We’ve got over a million vacancies out there, we’ve got a huge host of opportunities for people to take advantage of, and it’s going to be apprenticeships that are going to help people make the jump into those opportunities.”

Dr Rhys Morgan, Director of Engineering and Education at the Royal Academy of Engineering, called on employers to support the development of T Levels and apprenticeships, and spoke of the need to recruit a more diverse and inclusive workforce.

He said: “We have to make these qualifications work, they are here to stay. I hope you will continue to work with CCCG and the wider education sector to embrace these qualifications and support our young people, who really need to help with the net-zero skills challenges and the economy.”

Construction and engineering apprenticeship training predominantly takes place at CONEL’s large, fully equipped workshops at its centres in Tottenham and Enfield.

The college’s Enfield Centre is home to the London Rail Academy and new London Welding Academy run in partnership with Paddington, part of construction giant Ardmore.

Adrian White, General Manager at Ardmore, said: “Ardmore Group has long been committed to providing opportunities for local people to train in well-paid, highly-skilled jobs, and the London Welding Academy is a brilliant example of that.

“We’re delighted to have been able to open this academy within a matter of months, meaning we can develop our own committed and motivated workforce.”

The London Rail Academy provides apprenticeship training with large employers including Alstom, Hitachi, Eurostar, Docklands Light Railway and London Underground.

CONEL also provides rail track maintenance apprenticeships with London Underground.

Alstom has been training apprentices with CONEL for more than four years on its rail technician training programme.

Alstom apprentice Brandon Hargreaves, 23, said: “Working with the teachers at CONEL has allowed me to learn so much and excel in a subject I am passionate about. Being thrown into the reality of the working world in London has been an amazing experience.”

Lee Bird, Learning and Development Apprenticeship Manager at Alstom, said: “What makes CONEL different from other providers is that they listen to our requirements and have the expertise to modify the apprenticeship content and delivery to meet our business needs.”

CONEL has recently partnered with Enfield Council and Vistry Partnerships to run a new Skills Academy to provide construction training for the Meridian Water regeneration project, which will build 10,000 new homes in Enfield.

CCCT’s provision also includes employability courses with organisations including Women into Construction to provide more opportunities for women to enter the sector. Find out more about our Construction and Engineering apprenticeships.

Find out more about our Construction and Engineering apprenticeships.

Blog: Have YOU considered an apprenticeship instead of university?

Would you like to gain new skills and new knowledge, and get paid while you’re studying for it? An apprenticeship could be the answer. This week is the 15th annual National Apprenticeships Week, a celebration of how apprenticeships help people of all ages develop the skills and knowledge that they need for a rewarding career.

To start the week, Jackie Chapman (Managing Director of Capital City College Training) shares her thoughts on why school leavers should seriously consider an apprenticeship instead of A Levels, T Levels, BTECs or even university, and why it’s a great option for people looking to change careers too.

As National Apprenticeship Week starts, I am reminded of the confusing range of choices available to those leaving school and looking to start the next stage in their lives.

Whether you are 16 or 18 years old, you’ve just had an experience unlike any other generation, making it essential that you have the right support to make the best choices now, which will have a positive impact on your future career.

For some of you, taking A Levels or going to college, and then on to university, may be the best choice, but others would do well by going into work – and in today’s economy there are plenty of options for those who want to! Faced with staff shortages in many key industries, employers are crying out for staff and there has never been a better time to look for a job.

For once, the power is in your hands.

So why should new career starters – or older people changing careers for that matter – apply for an apprenticeship, or ask a perspective employer to put them on an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships used to only be available in ‘hands-on’ professions like plumbing and construction, but nowadays you can be an apprentice in a much wider choice of occupations. , from accountancy and professional services, to business, HR, engineering and childcare. You can even do apprenticeships with us in the hospitality sector – as a chef for example – or in visual effects in the TV of film industry.

Apprenticeships are for everyone and every age too, not just 16 or 18 year olds. We have people in their 20s, 30s and 40s who’ve changed careers and are now doing apprenticeships in HR, Procurement, Management, Adult Care and many other jobs.

In my opinion, being an apprentice is one of the best ways to ensure that you have ongoing support in a new role, because as an apprentice:

1. You have to be given guaranteed time from work to study

2. You have to have a workplace mentor who will guide you

3. You have a coach or tutor from the training provider to support you

4. You have the chance to learn and develop your skills, with managers understanding your development needs.

Great employers recognise the important of supporting staff, so if you are considering employment – check if they offer apprenticeships!

You might be asking how an apprenticeship works and who can do one. As long as you are 16 or older and have not already completed a qualification in a similar role, you can be an apprentice. Apprentices are employed and have time away from work (usually one day per week) to study for a

qualification. To be an apprentice, you can be a new or current employee and are always paid at least the minimum apprentice wage (many employers pay their apprentices more). And, as you’re studying while you’re working, you could also receive a range of travel and council tax discounts too.

An apprenticeship could be your ticket to success. Find out more about our apprenticeships here.

Our Chief Executive comments on today’s Levelling Up White Paper

Roy O’Shaughnessy, Chief Executive of Capital City College Group, said:

It is right that the Government wants to ‘level-up’ the UK. However, the 332 pages of the white paper and the plans announced today, have very little new policy or funding – either to support Londoners as they recover from the economic shock of COVID, or which acknowledges the vital role that further education colleges around the country must play in the Government’s re-skilling and levelling-up agenda.

While the white paper takes a place-based approach to tackling the massive task of levelling-up, it doesn’t also take into account the fact that poverty and lack of opportunity is found even in wealthy areas. Rightly, the white paper promises better schools, freeports, transport upgrades, Levelling up funds – even Project Gigabit funds – for many parts of the country, but it does not have room for Londoners who live, and learn, in some of the most deprived wards in the country.

London is home to around 2.5 million disadvantaged people and a greater proportion of its population are poor than that of any other UK region. For example, some 67 per cent of our students are in the bottom three bands of social deprivation, but not one of the 55 new Education Investment Areas will be in the capital.

Further education colleges must play a key role in supporting the levelling-up of their communities. If they are to deliver the inspirational and engaging skills training which learners need to boost their life chances and make levelling-up a reality, colleges must be able to adequately reward their staff, attract new talent into teaching, invest in IT and physical infrastructure, and innovate. But without a sustainable and longer-term funding settlement for the sector, colleges will not be able to do any of these things.

Read the full Levelling Up White Paper here.