March 2022 - Capital City College Group
Accessibility & Translation

Hospitality students get a shot at making cocktails at the Waldorf

Westminster Kingsway College’s hospitality students have been shaking things up behind the bar at the world-famous Waldorf Hilton hotel, with a series of cocktail masterclasses.

Twelve aspiring mixologists from the college’s Victoria Centre have been honing their bar skills at weekly training sessions at the luxury five-star hotel on London’s Aldwych.

Under the instruction of bar manager Massimiliano Terrile and his team they have learnt about various spirits and how to use these as a base for making different cocktails.

The students have also been trained in the correct use of professional bar equipment and discovered more about the history and tradition of many classic drinks.

Matthew Deller, 18, said: “I had no idea about any cocktails before I came here, but now I know about the different botanicals in gin, how vodka suits sharp flavours, the best way to mash and grind the mint for mojitos and how to make daquiris and negronis. It’s amazing to go to a college that’s so well connected and can give you these kinds of opportunities.”

Mia Lambert, 17, added: “I’ve learnt a lot about the history and science of different drinks and the methods of making different cocktails. We’ve not only been exposed to the bar side but been able to work at events as well. I feel so lucky and privileged. Not many people my age can say they’ve been able to have this experience.”

The students have been training at the Waldorf Hilton since November as part of their Hospitality and Events Level 3 Diploma and Food and Beverage Service Level 3 Diploma courses.

Jessica Grady, 17, said: “We’ve been given so many amazing opportunities on our course – meeting lots of famous chefs, experiencing fine dining and visiting hotels and events companies. The teachers are amazing. They know the way we work, and we can talk to them about anything. We get so much support.”

Each of the participating students will be presented with the Hilton Bar Qualification when they complete their training in April.

Bartender Silvia Dias, who has been helping with the training, said: “The students came in ready and excited to learn about new things and were open to everything. Some of what they learnt can be quite technical, but they didn’t put up any barriers and acquired a lot of knowledge very quickly. They were very interested and engaged and have bright futures ahead of them.”

WestKing’s Hospitality and Events Diploma, and Food and Beverage Service Diploma courses cover food and gastronomy, restaurant service, events, customer service, human resources, finance, marketing and business. These courses are the ideal preparation for anyone who wants a career in the hospitality, events, hotel or restaurant sectors.

Lindsey Lamont, Lecturer in Hospitality, commented: “This was a fantastic opportunity for our students to receive professional drinks and cocktail masterclasses at one of London’s most prestigious hotels. It has helped them with their studies and developed their wider skills and knowledge with an unforgettable experience learning from the best in the business.”

WestKing always ensures parental permission is given for students under 18 to undertake training involving alcohol.

Interested in learning how to become a mixologist? Apply now for one of our Hospitality and Culinary Arts courses.

Students banking on successful careers after workshops with Lloyds

Students from City and Islington College (CANDI) boosted their future job prospects when they took part in a series of workshops with Lloyds Banking Group.

The group, all in their first year of A Level courses at the CANDI’s Sixth Form College in Angel, took part in the Lloyds Junior Scholars programme between October 2021 and March 2022.

Employees from the banking group, which includes Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland, ran 10 interactive sessions to develop students’ employability and finance skills.

These focused on skills for success, networking, CV building, personal branding, interview and presentation skills, personal financial management and careers in the sector.

Each student was presented with a graduation certificate at Lloyds’ head office in the City and given the opportunity to gain work experience with the bank.

As part of the visit, they were also asked to give presentations on subjects of their choice, which included happiness, the Nike tech brand, diversity in the media and the school environment.

Yusuf Islam, 16, who is studying A Levels in Economics, Business Studies and History, said: “The workshops have really helped build my skills and confidence.

“I’ve learnt how to create a professional CV. They told us to use every experience we’ve learnt in our CVs and not to underestimate our skills and talent. They stressed the importance of making a good first impression and that preparation is key – researching the company, what questions they might ask and what skills you can bring to the job.

“They advised us to be friendly and ourselves when networking and not too professional or the person you’re working with may feel less motivated to speak with you, and when presenting, to take a breath, be calm and confident, bring out your personality and make it relatable.”

Yusuf is also taking advantage of many other enrichment programmes at CANDI including Career Ready, which works with employers and education providers to prepare young people for work.

He said: “I am looking at a finance career, something in investment or commercial banking. I have always loved how money and the economy works in and outside the UK. One of my favourite subjects at school was maths and I’ve also read books by John Maynard Keynes and Adam Smith. They’ve all motivated me to choose that career route.

“The Lloyd’s programme has given me a much more rounded perspective on working in the finance field and what you need to do to get there. To be a great worker you need great experience, and if you start at a young age, you already have a head-start on other people to give you the edge.”

The Lloyds Junior Scholars programme is one of a wide range of enrichment opportunities at CANDI to prepare students for their future careers.

Ben Orcese, Higher Education and Careers Advisor at CANDI, said: “The Lloyds Junior Scholars Programme is a motivational way to help students gain skills that will strengthen their applications to competitive universities, degree apprenticeships and employment.

“For many of them it was the first time they have had any experience of the corporate world, which will be hugely beneficial, whether they choose to go into banking or any other career.”

Apply now for A Level courses at CANDI.

Government Minister discovers how to make a meal out of food waste, at WestKing Victoria Centre

On 8 March, Jo Churchill, the Minister for Agri-Innovation and Climate Adaptation, visited Westminster Kingsway College’s Victoria Centre, where she found out about what the college’s renowned School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts is doing to tackle the issue of food waste, and how to turn leftover food into a delicious meal.

The event was organised by the charity WRAP as part of Food Waste Action Week, their annual campaign which aims to help people reduce the amount of food that they waste. As a Minister in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), Jo has responsibility for environmental management and waste, and cares passionately about the issue.

Food waste is a huge problem with a significant environmental impact. If food waste were a country, it would have the third largest carbon footprint in the world – with approximately 1/3 of all food wasted, the resources used to make it contributes to 8-19% of total man-made greenhouse gas emissions. And as Catherine David, Director of Collaboration and Change at WRAP explained: “Over the next seven days, the UK will waste more than 87,000 tonnes of food across all our homes, contributing to this country’s 9.5 million tonne food waste mountain. But if we focus on storing food well, making lists before we shop, freezing and defrosting more, we can tackle this problem and save money too.”

Jo Churchill visit Westking

Although most food waste in the UK is in people’s homes, chefs have an important role to play too by reducing food waste in their restaurants and hotels. Colleges like Westminster Kingsway must play their part too, by ensuring that their culinary students are trained in the most efficient use of food and how to minimise wastage.

Our culinary students, led by Culinary Arts Lecturer Vince Kelly, treated the Minister and guests to a menu of delicious small bowls of food made from some of the most commonly wasted foods, including potatoes, carrots, bread, bananas, fizzy drinks, fruit smoothies, milk and meat.

Jo Churchill MP isit victoria centre

The visit concluded with Jo and guests finally getting to enjoy the dishes the students had made, which inspired everyone to think of how they can make simple delicious food at home out of their leftovers.

The menu included, to start:

  • Spiced paneer on carrot slaw with a lime and poppyseed dressing – made from leftover milk and carrots.
  • Ham croquettes with a minted pea puree – made with sliced ham, potatoes, bread and frozen veg.
  • Thai potato cake, with date banana chutney – made from banana skins and potatoes.

For the main:

  • Roast pork trim pie topped with mash and crisp fried skins – made from leftover pork and potato skins.
  • Stir fried chicken trim and rice – made with the final trims of meat from a chicken and frozen veg.
  • Roast vegetable crostini – using leftover bread baguettes.

And to finish:

  • Carrot cake – made from leftover carrots.
  • Fizzy drinks sorbet – made from a combination of fizzy drinks.
  • Fruit fool – made using leftover fruit juices and smoothies.

Access the recipes here and cook them yourself.

Find out more about our highly regarded culinary and hospitality courses here.

Students go green to become London winners of the first Planet Earth Games

Eco-friendly students at Westminster Kingsway College have been named the London regional winners of the first ever Planet Earth Games for colleges.

Planet Earth Games – Colleges, run in partnership with Association of Colleges (AoC) Sport, aims to promote sustainability and educate students on how their actions affect the environment.

Students from colleges across the UK were asked to complete five virtual sustainability challenges around veganism, litter picking, carbon reduction, slow fashion and hugging a tree.

They were asked to submit evidence of themselves undertaking the challenges on allocated days in January, with the most engaged college being awarded a trophy.

Engineering student Sinem Bozkurt, 17, said: “I’m really proud that we were regional winners for London. The students put in so much effort to complete every challenge and I think we deserved it.

“The challenges were really fun and enjoyable and had a good impact on us. It was nice seeing other students at college taking part because it showed they care about the environment.

“I’m very interested in environmental engineering because climate change is a worry and I really want to make a difference and make sure we prevent worse things from happening.

“The environment is something that everyone should be concerned with right now, it’s not really an option.”

Planet earth game image

WestKing has recently set up a Sustainability Council run by students and supported by their peers and staff with the aim of making the college the greenest in London.

Planet Earth Games was formed in 2019 and runs various challenges throughout the year to inspire and encourage people towards active and sustainable lifestyles.

The charity has been backed by former GB rower Melissa Wilson, international runner Gemma Kersey, Paralympian Alexandra Rickham, professional cricketer Joe Cooke and the environmental group Kids Against Plastic.

Since it began, 84 per cent of participants have learnt something new about sustainability and nearly two thirds have become more active.

Laura Elliott, Director of Learner Services at WestKing, said: “As a college we take pride in not only educating our students in the classroom, but also on topics that matter to them and affect their everyday lives, including the environment.

“We were delighted to be named the London winner in the first Planet Earth Games. My congratulations go out to all the students who took part and showed how passionately they care about the world around them.”

Chris Broadbent, Founder of Planet Earth Games, said: “We were thrilled with the success of the first ever Planet Earth Games – Colleges event, in particular, the gusto and creativity in which students tackled each challenge. Each and every submission was superb.

“Working with our partners at the AoC, we now have a real foundation from which to build. We are particularly excited at the prospect of working with students to develop this concept to best deliver for young people.”

Find out more about Student Life at WestKing.

Feryal Clark MP visits CONEL’s Enfield Centre

During National Apprenticeships Week in February, Feryal Clark, the MP for Enfield North, visited our Enfield centre, to celebrate the week with us and meet some of the staff who deliver our engineering and construction apprenticeships, as well as our apprentice students.

During her visit, Feryal had a tour of the centre with CONEL’s Vice Principal Robin Hindley and Strategic Adviser for Engineering Development, Barry Connelly. She saw the London Rail Academy that we run, which trains students for careers in rail engineering, and the new London Welding Academy – which we have set up with the construction giant Ardmore – as well as the centre’s high quality sports facilities, and hairdressing and beauty salons.

The apprentices at our London Rail Academy are mostly recruited directly by rail companies (including Bombardier, Alstom and Transport for London) and the Academy delivers rail-specific training to around 200 apprentices, 80 of whom are Enfield residents.

Workshop image

The college set-up the London Welding Academy, which will provide apprenticeship training for off-site manufacturing specialist Paddington, part of the Ardmore Group, in just 28 weeks – very quick for this type of specialist provision. CONEL and Ardmore have committed to running the academy for five years and Ardmore has provided welding masks, equipment and metal to develop apprentices’ skills. 21 apprentice welders started in January 2022 with a joint commitment with Ardmore to start a similar number of welding apprentices every year for the next five years.

Robin Hindley said: “Our Enfield centre is a fantastic site and it was great to have the opportunity to meet Feryal and show her what we do here. Feryal is a real supporter of apprenticeships and can see the incredible value they offer to learners, and she appreciated the chance to meet some of our apprentices and find out more about their courses. She was very impressed by the teaching and learning facilities that we provide.

“We also talked through some of the policy changes that we want to see, especially the positive impact that free courses have on students, and our thoughts on T Levels. We also explained about how being part of CCCG has helped the college stay strong and win new business, like the Green Mayor’s Academy Hub, and the benefits that we bring to Enfield and its residents. Feryal really enjoyed her visit and wants to come back in the future. I look forward to welcoming her back!”

Queen's Award for Enterprise