April 2023 - Capital City College Group
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Students get the lowdown on engineering and construction careers and apprenticeships from top UK employers

Students at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) found out more about engineering and construction careers and apprenticeships from some of the UK’s leading employers this month.

The event was held at the college’s Enfield Centre, which is home to the London Rail Academy and London Welding Academy, and fully equipped workshops for courses and apprenticeships in Engineering, Rail Engineering, Plumbing, Carpentry, Electrical Installations and Brickwork.

Among the companies promoting engineering and construction careers and at the college were London Underground, Emcor UK, Cleshar, Yunex Traffic, Perfect Welding and CML Steel.

Also present at the event was construction firm Countryside Partnerships, which recently launched an Enfield Construction Skills Academy with Enfield Council and CONEL to support the huge Meridian Water regeneration in the borough.

Students had the chance to hear from their peers and see the college’s replica Docklands Light Railway (DLR) train and a train undercarriage know as a bogie, which were donated to CONEL by Transport for London (TfL) and Eversholt Rail respectively.

Shifa Fatima Shaikh, 16, is studying for an Engineering Level 3 Diploma at CONEL and hopes to stay at the college and complete a rail engineering apprenticeship when she finishes her course.

She said: “I don’t think university is the right route for me. I’m a very hands-on learner and prefer to shadow people and then apply those skills, rather than just sitting and listening to a lecturer.

“I feel apprenticeships hold more value. With university you go to lectures and sit your exams, but when you get your degree and apply for a job and they ask about your work experience you’re not able to say anything, and so you don’t get employed. With apprenticeships you have both the work experience and the qualification and do not have any debt.

“My teacher is very straightforward, he doesn’t sugar-coat anything. He’s worked in engineering, which really inspiring because it’s applied knowledge. He knows the work ethic and commitment employers are looking for and gives us lots of feedback, advice and support to get there.”

According to the Institute of Engineering and Technology there is a shortfall of 173,000 workers in the STEM sector, while the Construction Industry Training Board has revealed around 225,000 extra workers are needed by 2027.

Suzana Harrison, Entry Level Talent Lead for Yunex Traffic, which manufactures, installs and services traffic lights and other street furniture, said: “It is important for us to get our name out in the local community and at college events to make sure people understand there is a route to work outside of going to university.

“CONEL has spent a lot of money to make sure it is meeting the needs of local businesses. The college has very good workshops and the lecturers and will be providing electrical engineering apprentices at our Enfield depot this summer.

“We’ve had interest from students who are coming through the college on Level 2 courses who are looking to do a Level 3 apprenticeship, not just from engineering students but also those studying electrical qualifications.”

Students also learnt more about the London Rail Academy, which is run by CONEL to provide apprenticeship training for companies including TfL, Siemens, Alstom, Thales, DLR, Hitachi, London North Eastern Railway (LNER), Eurostar, Coral Communications and VolkerRail.

CONEL also offers Rail Track Technician apprenticeships with London Underground through Capital City College Training (CCCT), which provides a wide range of apprenticeship opportunities.

The London Welding Academy was set up in partnership with Paddington, a subsidiary of construction giant Ardmore, to initially provide apprenticeship training for the company.

Tony Hayden, Managing Director of Perfect Welding, which supplies equipment and certifies welders for companies including Ardmore and helped build the London Welding Academy, said: “Ardmore are absolutely delighted with all the apprentices who are being trained at CONEL.

“Early on all the apprentices had to produce a weld, which were judged by the workshop manager, and there is a girl here who was the star of the show. She’s now welding aluminium working on actual jobs every day, which is quite a difficult skill to learn because it needs a lot of dexterity, co-ordination and heat control because the metal expands very quickly.

“I’ve been to see the apprentices working in the factory and they are already quite advanced. They have had a really good education taught well at CONEL, not just in welding but in fabrication. It’s not just a case of welding it up, but being able to read a drawing, be accurate with measuring and knowing how to put metal structurally together.

“There is huge shortage of welding and fabrication engineers, and engineering in the UK in general, so it’s vital that events like these are supported. The good thing about it is that everyone here is enthusiastic about getting students and apprentices trained and out into the workplace.”

Find out about courses and apprenticeships in Engineering, Rail Engineering and Construction and apply here.

What books, stationery and equipment do you need for college?

If you’re looking to start college or sixth form this year, you may be wondering what books, equipment and materials do I need? Here’s a list of items to help you succeed in your studies.

Starting college or sixth form can be both exciting and overwhelming.

Among the many things students need to consider is what books, stationery and equipment they need for their studies. To help make that process easier, we’ve compiled a list of essential items every student needs below.

Capital City College Group (CCCG) has hundreds of books, periodicals and resources at its college Learning Resource Centres and also pays online subscriptions to help students with their assignments. The Group also offers bursaries to support them with costs to support their studies.

Pens and pencils

These basic writing tools are a must-have for any college student. A pack of pens and pencils should suffice, but it’s always a good idea to have some spares on hand.

Highlighters and sticky notes

Highlighters and sticky notes are great for emphasising important information in textbooks and notes. They come in a range of colours and are an effective tool for studying and revision.

Notebooks and paper

Notebooks and paper are essential for taking notes during lectures. It’s a good idea to have a dedicated notebook for each subject, to help keep your notes organised and easily accessible.

Binders and folders

Binders and folders are useful for keeping your notes and handouts organised. They also make it easier to find the information you need when studying for exams.

Laptop or tablet

Having a laptop or tablet can be incredibly useful for taking notes during lectures, accessing online resources and completing assignments. It’s worth investing in a quality device that can handle the demands of college life.


Depending on your course, a calculator may be a necessary tool. All laptops and mobile phones have scientific calculator applications, so there’s no need to buy a separate calculator.

Books and course materials

Most courses require students to purchase books and other course materials. Find out what you will need in advance to give you a head start and an understanding of what you will learn on your course.

Backpack or bag

A sturdy backpack or bag is essential for carrying all of your books and equipment around college. Look for one with multiple compartments, so you can keep your belongings organised.

Stationery organiser

Keeping all your pens, pencils, highlighters, and other stationery organised can be a challenge. Consider investing in a stationery organiser to help keep everything in one place.

Personal planner

Managing your time effectively is crucial to success in college. A personal planner can help you keep track of assignments, deadlines and other important events.

These are just some of the items that students need for college. By being prepared and having the right equipment, you can ensure you’re well-equipped to handle the demands of college life.

Find out more about College Life with CCCG here.

What should you wear to college?

Starting college or sixth form this September and not sure what to wear? Here’s some ideas on how to dress for your studies.

Starting college or sixth form can be both exciting and nerve-wracking, especially if you’ve never had the opportunity to choose what to wear before.

It’s normal to feel concerned about fitting in with your peers and wearing the right clothes. But don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to feel comfortable and confident in your clothing choices.

Firstly, it’s important to remember that everyone is in the same boat as you. College is a new environment for everyone, and most students will be more focused on adjusting to their new surroundings than on what you’re wearing.

That said, it’s important to make an effort with your appearance to show that you take your studies seriously and are ready to engage with college life.

Some colleges have rules on what is and isn’t allowed, so make sure you familiarise yourself with these before you start shopping. Like most sixth forms, colleges and universities in the UK, we don’t have a dress code at any of our colleges at Capital City College Group (CCCG) but trust our students to wear sensible clothing that is appropriate for college and the course they are studying.

One way to ensure you feel good in what you’re wearing is to invest in some key pieces that you can mix and match. This could be as simple as a few pairs of jeans, a couple of t-shirts and a sweater or hoodie. These items are versatile and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. If you prefer a more formal look, consider adding a jacket and a pair of smart trousers or skirt to your wardrobe.

It’s always a good idea to dress appropriately for the occasion. If you’re going to be sitting in lectures or standing up in a workshop, it’s important to feel relaxed and comfortable, but there might be some days where you have to make a bit more effort and dress in smart attire, such as when you have a presentation or an office-based work placement.

It can also be beneficial to try and dress a little smarter every so often. Sometimes you feel more focused and work harder with what you wear. This doesn’t mean turning up in a suit, but looking smarter occasionally doesn’t do any harm.

While our colleges will provide overalls, lab coats and tabards for students on our Construction, Engineering, Science, Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy course and some A Levels, it is advisable to wear clothing that you do not want to ruin during more practical classes.

If you’re still unsure what to wear on a day-to-day basis, take a look at what other students are wearing around college.

Find out more about College Life with CCCG here.

Art and fashion design students showcase work inspired by architecture

Art and fashion designs inspired by architecture are on display at an exhibition of work by students at City and Islington College (CANDI) this month.

The exhibition is being held at Resource for London, a charity offering community space at its building on Holloway Road, near the college’s Centre for Business, Arts and Technology.

The work was produced by first-year students studying for an Art and Design Level 3 Diploma and Fashion and Textiles Level 3 Diploma as part of their coursework.

The exhibition features a colourful array of vibrant 2D and 3D artwork created by Art and Design students including drawings, paintings, prints, models, fabric designs and digital animations.

It also includes a collection of shirts designed and produced by Fashion and Textiles students in collaboration with Menage Modern Vintage, which sells pre-owned designer clothes and accessories.

Both Art and Design and Fashion Design students visited London’s Square Mile to get inspiration from various types of architecture before exploring different materials and techniques in class.

Fashion and Textiles student Berfin Sunna, 17, said: “My shirt was inspired by The Shard and how the top of the building points, so I made the collars sharp.

“I was really pleased with how it turned out. It was identical my design. It’s been nice to see my drawing brought to life. I put it on Instagram and have had a lot of nice comments.

“My interest in fashion started at secondary school. I’ve always been very creative and been drawing fashion illustrations since I was a young. I enjoy coming into college every day.

“We design garments, make samples and learn different skills and techniques like sewing, pattern cutting and quilting. The teachers are always by your side if you need help. I enjoy it a lot.”

Menage Modern Vintage donated surplus secondhand and vintage stock including a box of Savile Row shirts to CANDI as part of a wider project to encourage recycling and sustainable fashion.

The finished designs were then modelled by the students and photographed by professional photographer Isla Mathieson before being displayed at the exhibition.

Read more about the project on Menage Modern Vintage’s blog here.

Marie Bradley, Head of School for Creative Arts and Media, said: “We have some wonderfully gifted and talented students at CANDI who have produced some outstanding work this year. Each brush stroke, line drawn and thread sewn is a reflection of their passion and creativity.

“The exhibition has been a fantastic opportunity to showcase their work to the wider community.”

Find out more and apply for Art, Design and Fashion courses here.

What are sixth form colleges and how do they differ from school?

Leaving school this summer? Here’s why you may want to consider going to a sixth form college after your GCSEs.

As students approach the end of their compulsory school education, they have several options for continuing their studies.

One popular choice is to attend a sixth form college or a school sixth form. While both options provide students with a pathway to higher education, they differ in a number of ways.

A sixth form college focus solely on educating students aged 16-18. These colleges are often larger than school sixth forms and often offer a wider range of courses including technical and vocational qualifications. In contrast, a school sixth form is typically an extension of a secondary school with students continuing their studies at the same location.

Capital City College Group (CCCG) includes City and Islington College (CANDI), which has a designated sixth form college offering more than 30 A Levels from traditional subjects such as English, Maths, History and Chemistry to less common subjects like Fine Art, Politics, Music Technology and Criminology.

Being larger institutions, sixth form colleges have a much larger and more diverse population of students. This can provide students with a greater sense of independence and can also offer opportunities for socialising and making new friends.

Furthermore, sixth form colleges often have more extensive resources than school sixth forms, including state-of-the-art equipment and facilities. This can be particularly relevant for students studying technical or scientific subjects who may need access to specialised equipment and resources to complete their coursework.

CANDI Sixth Form College is purely focused on A Levels but being part of a wider further education college can open the door to other technical and vocational courses and apprenticeships. It also has access to a huge network of universities and employers to help students find the right career path and gain internships and work placements to develop their skills and experience.

Being part of the wider CANDI community, means students have access to all college libraries and support services. Students also have the opportunity to gain further experience by attending enrichment activities such as career workshops and mentoring programmes. They’re also able to join the college gym and many clubs and societies and events throughout their studies.

Find out more about and apply for A Levels at CANDI Sixth Form College and across CCCG here.

CONEL Basketball Academy team win gold at Association of Colleges Sport National Championships

Basketball players at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) have won gold in the Association of Colleges Sport National Championships.

The team from the college’s Basketball Academy team were crowned champions after they beat Richard Huish College 14-10 at the tournament in Nottingham on 16 April.

The teams were divided into Pool A and Pool B and played against each other with the winning and runner-up teams in each pool competing for a place in the final.

CONEL had lost to Richard Huish College early on in Pool A but won against Cardiff and Vale College, Moulton College and Xaverian College in the competition.

As Pool A runners up, the team then played and beat Pool B winners Leeds City College 20-14 to reach the title decider against Richard Huish College.

CONEL was awarded 10 points towards the London region’s victory in the Wilkinson Sword Trophy, which is presented to the college region winning the most points.

Team captain Juan Nguema, 18, said: “It feels incredible to win the gold. The game was close, we won by just four points. Everyone was screaming, jumping and happy. It was amazing.

“We didn’t know what teams we would be playing but we felt confident. We all went there to win. The team’s success was down to our energy in defence, which made it easier for the offence. We didn’t play well in some of the games but as we began to trust each other more, we started to move the ball better.

“The coaches at CONEL are the best I’ve ever had and took the team to the next level. They helped our gameplay to make the right decisions, and really motivated us to believe in ourselves.”

The team also comprised Hakim Linton, Omari Pond-McKenzie, Gelsomary Camolo, Suroosh Yakin, Shaquille Thomas, Josh Genus, Ocean Brobbey, Dante Margai, Chad Neptune and Eren Cifci.

They trained every day at the college in the run up to the tournament and attended a training camp hosted by the London School of Basketball over the Easter break.

CONEL secured their place at the national tournament after winning in the regional finals at Redbridge Sports Centre in Ilford in December.

Basketball Academy coach AJ Roberts said: “Going into the tournament we knew we had a strong team and could compete, but in the past we have lost focus and concentration during games mainly on the defensive side of the court, so our focus was to get as many stops as possible.

“We won our first two games and could have got cocky but lost to the team we played in the final in group play, which may have been a blessing in disguise. I told the boys they caught us at a moment when we weren’t prepared, and they locked in, focused and took them out.

“The team put in a lot of effort and fully deserved their win. I always tell people nothing is given, everything is earned. To come away as champions is a testament of all their hard work and has given me more hunger to taste that success again. I feel incredibly proud to be their coach.”

CONEL’s Basketball Academy is located at the college’s Enfield Centre, which is also home to its Football Academy, Netball Academy, Martial Arts Academy, Athletics Academy and Esports Academy.

The college runs courses in Sport, Gym Instructing, Personal Training. Sports Psychology and Nutrition and Health. Find out more and apply here.

Find out more about CONEL’s Sports Academies here.

Enfield Construction Skills Academy at Meridian Water site will create hundreds of jobs each year

A new Enfield Construction Skills Academy has been launched at the borough’s Meridian Water regeneration site to train hundreds of people to work in the industry each year.

Meridian Water is Enfield Council’s massive £6 billion 20-year project to build 10,000 new homes and create 5,000 jobs on a site next to Lee Valley Regional Park in Edmonton.

Delivered by Enfield Council with Countryside Partnerships and Capital City College Group (CCCG), the Skills Academy will provide the skills and qualifications needed to work in the sector. It has already started accepting students and aims to train more than 500 people a year.

Training is being provided by the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL), part of CCCG, and will place a special focus on teaching sustainable construction methods including how to retrofit buildings to higher energy insulation standards.

Apprenticeships are available in plumbing, electrical installations, carpentry, brickwork, thermal insulation, assembly and installation, design and build, floor laying roofing, groundwork, site supervision and engineering. CONEL is also be offering free short courses in construction and employability skills.

The Skills Academy forms part of the initial phase of Meridian One, the first development at Meridian Water. Meridian One includes the construction of nearly 1,000 homes alongside several infrastructure works, such as the recently completed Meridian Water railway station.

Totalling 948 square metres, the Skills Academy features a reception area, canteen, offices, visitor centre, classrooms, workshops and an external area for outside training exercises. Designed by Hawkins\Brown, the building reflects the site’s former industrial heritage.

Cllr Nesil Caliskan, Leader of Enfield Council, said: “This project will provide local residents with opportunities to train and learn new skills, opening the doors to future careers in the construction industry. Edmonton residents will be the primary beneficiaries of Meridian Water, and the Skills Academy is yet another example of how local people will benefit from the development.

“As well as new homes, our development at Meridian Water is building a vibrant local economy and I look forward to seeing the Skills Academy in action soon.”

Ray Toft, Managing Director at Countryside Partnerships London Developments, said: “True regeneration is about much more than just delivering new homes. Via our innovative Skills Academy, Meridian One is providing skills and training opportunities for the community, upskilling local people, which in turn supports the local economy.

“The Academy will also provide much-needed training on sustainable methods of construction. Such skills are crucial for the future success of our business and the sector as a whole.”

Robin Hindley, Vice Principal of CONEL, said: “CCCG is proud to be the official training provider for the Skills Academy, which will deliver a pipeline of skilled workers for the huge regeneration of Enfield on the Meridian Water site.

“We have many years’ experience at CONEL running construction courses and apprenticeships, which we will use to train thousands of local people in the construction trades and sustainable development, as well as giving them the employability skills they need to improve their job prospects.

“We are tremendously excited to be working with Enfield Council and Countryside Partnerships on this project, which will be a massive boost to the borough’s economy and create a better future for those living in Enfield.”

Find out more about the Enfield Construction Skills Academy and apply here.

Drive forward your skills on engineering work experience

Want to gain work experience in the engineering sector? Here’s our top tips for success.

Engineering work experience is an excellent opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience in their chosen field and develop practical skills that are essential for future careers.

In recent years, the demand for engineering jobs in the UK has been steadily increasing. According to Engineering UK, there is a yearly demand for around 124,000 engineers and technicians in the UK.

Many of our Engineering diploma students at Capital City College Group go on to university to specialise in civil, mechanical, electrical, technological and chemical engineering.

During their studies they have the opportunity to undertake work placements with industry employers including Siemens, McLaren, Ardmore, Morgan Sindall and SCS Railways.

If you are considering a career in engineering, here are our top tips on how to gain work experience and make the most of your time on placement.

  • Research the Industry

Before applying for any work experience placement, it’s essential to research the industry to understand the types of engineering roles and the skills required. This research will help you to determine the area of engineering that best fits your interests and career aspirations. Look for information on the latest trends, challenges and job opportunities within the sector.

  • Network with Professionals

Networking with professionals in the industry is an excellent way to gain insights and learn about the various job roles and opportunities within the field. Attend industry events, conferences and join online communities to connect with professionals. Make sure to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve from these interactions and prepare relevant questions beforehand.

  1. Apply Early

Engineering work experience placements can be competitive with limited places. To increase your chances of securing a placement, apply early. Research and identify companies that interest you, and then apply well in advance to increase your chances of success. Many companies have a fixed application period, so make sure to check their websites for specific dates.

  • Be Flexible

When applying for engineering work experience, be open to different roles and companies. It’s essential to gain experience in different areas to understand which career path suits you best. Also, many companies offer placements in different locations, which could offer different experiences and opportunities. Be flexible and open-minded to make the most of your work experience.

  • Prepare for the Placement

Before starting your work experience placement, take the time to prepare. Research the company, their values, culture and the work they do. Look for information on the projects you will be working on and try to understand how they fit into the broader context of the company. Also, make sure you are aware of any safety protocols and procedures you need to follow.

  • Show Initiative

During your work experience placement, it’s essential to show initiative and take on responsibility where possible. Demonstrate your interest in the work, ask questions and seek feedback. This proactive approach will show your commitment to the placement and the industry and could lead to further opportunities in the future.

  • Build Relationships

Building positive relationships with colleagues and supervisors during your work experience placement is crucial. These relationships could lead to valuable industry connections, future work opportunities and references. Make sure to take the time to get to know your colleagues, attend social events and show a positive attitude.

Apply now for CCCG courses and apprenticeships in Engineering here and Rail Engineering here.

Christian resurrects music talent this Easter after battle with neurological disorder

A Christian singer-songwriter who lost her ability to make music for two years because of a debilitating neurological condition is set to release a new single this Easter.

Through Your Eyes will be the first song released by Seniz Suleyman since she was diagnosed with functional neurological disorder (FND), a condition that affects her physical and mental health.

“It truly and honestly feels incredible to be making music again,” said Seniz, who studied for a Music Production Level 3 Diploma at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) in 2015.

Seniz, 25, who lives with her family in Enfield, achieved a Distinction* at CONEL and went on to graduate with a first-class BA (Hons) in Music Production at the BIMM Institute.

She said: “I am wonderfully blessed and grateful to be able to do so and I am very excited to create and share my gift for music freely again, especially with my family and friends who have loved and stood faithfully beside me.”

FND is caused by a problem with the brain and nervous system. Symptoms vary from person to person and include various cognitive, mobility and sensory difficulties, chronic pain, fatigue, panic attacks, insomnia, migraines, anxiety and depression.

“I began walking, talking and thinking in slow motion and my memory was severely impacted and everyday tasks became more difficult. This desperate situation lasted for more than a year and became so unbearable that I even began to question my faith,” said Seniz.

“It was all-consuming. I had no idea what was going on. I genuinely feared that I would not only never be able make music again, but I would also not recover or be well again. I was simply existing.”

Seniz was diagnosed with FND in early 2022 and was told by specialists there was no treatment available for the condition. She was later advised by a nutritionist to change her diet and take natural supplements to improve her mental and physical health.

Seniz also received support from her family, friends and members of the Apostolic Christian Church (Sheepfold) in Edmonton, which she has attended for more than 10 years.

“All these things helped me break out from my debilitating mental oppression and fluctuating mood changes and my physical health also began to improve,” she said.

Seniz is set to release Through Your Eyes on Apple Music and Spotify under Seniz Sound and also has plans to release an EP called Grown From Grief, which will feature five tracks she wrote during her studies including her first song at CONEL called I Lean On You.

She previously produced an EP called Are You Ready? in 2019-20, featuring five powerful and rousing songs inspired by her faith, but did not release it until April 2021.

Prior to starting at BIMM Institute at age 17, former CONEL music lecturer Paul Jones helped Seniz get a commission with Sounds of Red Bull, a label under global music publisher BMG Production Music. She has since been asked to produce 10 more songs this year.

Seniz’s music has since been featured on programmes and trailers for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, BT Sport, CBS, Discovery Channel, Disney Channel, Film4, History, National Geographic and Sky Cinema.

“My teachers at CONEL were very supportive. They gave me lots of encouragement and good feedback,” said Seniz.

“They would sit down with you and suggest changes on how you could improve, so we were able to make our music the best it could be. They really pushed you to do better.”

Seniz’s interest in music began as a child when she would listen to her cousins play Disney songs on the piano who also introduced her to music music-making software GarageBand.

She taught herself piano while attending Victory in Christ Ministries church in Enfield and had singing lessons in her early teens while studying for GCSE Music.

“I wasn’t entirely sure what I was doing. I tried to copy each note by listening to what they were singing and began learning to play by ear,” said Seniz.

“I went on to YouTube and would listen and watch a pianist called Mark Fowler play music from the Transformers movies and Hans Zimmer film scores. I would try and copy him with my tiny keyboard from Toys R Us.”

Seniz has been playing and singing in the worship team at Apostolic Christian Church (Sheepfold) for more than eight years and hopes her music resonates with people of all backgrounds.

“Music has the power to make you feel a certain way but when you combine it with words it can be even more powerful, and when the two collide with visual media it’s like an explosion of inspiration,” she said.

“I want people to know that they can overcome anything, even when it looks like all hope is lost. It’s very important to never stop believing and to share and bless others with your own God-given gifts in any way you can.

“Ultimately, I want to inspire people with music the way it has inspired me.”

Find out more and apply for Music and Music Production courses here.

Students scoop a massive 96 awards in International Salon Culinaire competition

Hospitality and Culinary Arts students at Westminster Kingsway College have won an impressive 96 awards in this year’s International Salon Culinaire.

The contest is regarded as one of the world’s top competitions for chefs and takes place alongside the Hotel, Restaurant & Catering (HRC) expo at ExCeL London.

Participants compete in various hospitality and culinary skills challenges from food preparation and creating dishes to mixing cocktails and laying tables.

Students from WestKing achieved eight gold, 59 silver and 13 bronze medals, including several judged as beat in class, along with 16 merit awards.

Among this year’s winners were Jack Georgiou, Marta Sagan and George Oakes, who all won gold and best in class in the Country Range Student Chef Team Challenge.

They were tasked with creating a three-course meal in an hour and 30 minutes that included a scallop starter, a main course of Moroccan-inspired quail and chocolate biscuit dessert.

Jack, 18, who is studying a Professional Cookery Level 3 Diploma, said: “We weren’t going in blind. We were told what ingredients and had developed our dishes for the competition and practised them in advance, but there is only so much preparation you can do because you don’t know what you’re going to be working with and things can change.

“We encountered a few small issues, but we worked well together and would jump in a and help each other and give each other a push when we needed to. I was a bit nervous at the start but confident we could do it, and we managed to pull it off in the end. I enjoyed it, it was a really good experience and it’s nice to win as well.”

Marta, 18, who is studying a Professional Patisserie and Confectionary Level 3 Diploma, said: “I was more stressed at the beginning than during it, except when it hit the 10-minute countdown and then five minutes and you’re rushing to put the final touches of your dish together.

“I don’t think any of us expected to win. You’re constantly thinking about what you might have done wrong, what other people have done for their dishes and what the judges might think, so the relief when we found out we had won was great. It was a brilliant achievement.”

WestKing’s winners also included Cosmin Enache, Chloe Stening, Chardonnay Raymond-Bailey and Aaron Wayne who won five gold and five silver medals between them.

Cosmin, 18, who is studying a Professional Cookery Level 3 Diploma, won gold in the Sea Bass/Trout Preparation and Butcher a Whole Chicken competition and silver in the Lemon Sole Filleting.

He said: “I felt quite confident because I was lucky enough to have the chance to take part in the competition last year, so I was fairly relaxed and knew what to expect and what I was doing. Last year I got two silver medals and a bronze, so I’ve gone one better this time!

“There were a lot of friends around and some pressure on myself to do better, but I think that actually helped me to raise my game. I’ve filleted a lot of fish at college and hadn’t really seen how much I had improved, but a lot of people said I had. These medals show how much I have improved and given me more confidence in my skills.”

The competition, which dates back to 1902, was judged by professional chefs, restauranteurs and culinary experts from across the UK.

Terry Tinton, Head of School for Hospitality and Culinary Arts, said: “I am delighted to congratulate our students on another successful year at the International Salon Culinaire. Our students received awards for every category they were entered in, and I am hugely proud of every one of them.

“I am also incredibly proud of our fantastic team of chef lecturers who put in 16-hour days and weekends to support them without hesitation. With this level of commitment, it’s no wonder so many of students go on to achieve success in competitions and their future careers.”

Find out more about Hospitality and Culinary Arts courses and apply here.

Queen's Award for Enterprise