January 2024 - Capital City College Group
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CONEL welcomes football’s Mark Warburton

Former football coach and manager, Mark Warburton, delivers an engaging and inspiring speech to CONEL students.

Students and staff at The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) welcomed former football manager and coach, Mark Warburton. The former manager and coach of Brentford Football Club, QPR FC, Rangers Football Club, Nottingham Forest FC, and West Ham United FC, visited the Enfield Centre on 25 January to speak to students from Business and Sports courses.

Mark delivered an engaging talk to around 50 students, beginning with his early life and experience of schooling. He spoke in detail about his extensive career, which traverses both football and business and offered insights into the worlds of financial markets and elite football.


Yesterday we were delighted to welcome Mark Warburton, former manager and coach of Brentford Football Club, QPR FC, Rangers Football Club, Nottingham Forest FC, and West Ham United FC, to our Enfield Campus to speak to some of our sports students! 🙌 Mark spoke about his early life, managerial career and even answered some questions from staff and students. 🤝 This visit was made possible by the hard work and success of our Sports Academy! All our Sports Academies come equipped with one-to-one training with professional coaches, full use of the colleges’ sports facilities, personalised strength, conditioning, exercise and nutrition programmes, medical support and a sportswear kit. 💪 To learn more about our Sports Academies, click the link in our bio. #sports #qpr #rangers #westham #nottsforrest #college #london #CONEL #tottenham #enfield #lifeatcccg

♬ Natural Emotions – Muspace Lofi

Mark’s valuable perspectives on his upbringing coupled with his description of his achievements both on and off the pitch were highly motivating for students, underscoring the potential for success in their chosen fields.

Following his talk, there was a Q&A session where students and staff had the opportunity to ask Mark more about his life and experience.

The visit was organised as part of the ongoing partnership between Enfield Borough FC and Capital City College Group’s (CCCG) Sports Academies. The event was designed to motivate students and highlight the relevance of transferable skills for a successful career.

CCCG’s Football Academy allows players to train in state-of-the-art facilities, including a 3G sports pitch, gym and sports hall. Players are also provided with training, support, guidance, coaching and professional work experience opportunities. 

To learn more about our Sports Academies, click here.

How to become a Software Engineer in the UK

Unlock your potential and find a way into the tech industry with our guide on how to become a Software Engineer.

A Software Engineer is the mastermind behind every computer program or application that we use. They are the invisible caretakers of all existing and emerging software, taking it from inception through to development, testing and ongoing maintenance.

Without Software Engineers, the modern world as we know it would grind to a halt. So, if you’re a tech lover or have an interest in Computing and IT courses, why not consider training to become part of this exciting and fast-moving field? 

Whether you’re scratching your head and asking ‘What is a Software Engineer?’ or you want to know more about the average Software Engineer salary, we’ve got it covered with our detailed guide.

What is a Software Engineer?

A Software Engineer, often also known as a Software Developer or Programmer, is a digital architect who builds code for various types of software. They tend to specialise in a particular area and can cover anything from designing business-specific software to creating video games. 

The role of a Software Engineer involves responding to a problem or brief. They work to develop a solution that can be carried out using computer code and might include software programs, web or mobile apps, games, and robots. Software Engineers are also called upon to test and problem-solve issues relating to digital products.

What does a Software Engineer do? 

Many things make a great Software Engineer. First and foremost you’ll need some maths knowledge, a good understanding of computer systems and the ability to write programs. In terms of personal attributes, it’s also useful to have:

  • Strong analytical skills
  • Good attention to detail
  • The ability to think creatively
  • Complex problem-solving skills
  • The ability to communicate your ideas
  • Persistence and determination

A Software Engineer’s day-to-day tasks can vary widely depending on their specialisation and the company or clients they work with. There are some common core responsibilities:

  • Collaborating with team members: Software development is rarely a solo act, and engineers need strong communication and teamwork skills. After finding out what the client and development team need, they take part in technical design meetings and work with designers, project managers, and other developers
  • Writing code: This is the fundamental skill, of translating ideas into functional code using programming languages like Python, Java, or JavaScript
  • Designing software architecture: This involves structuring the overall system to ensure it’s efficient, scalable, and user-friendly
  • Troubleshooting errors: Software is rarely perfect, and Software Engineers need to be adept at identifying and fixing bugs. All software needs to be checked before it’s released and this can involve multiple rounds of testing and amending. Software Engineers need to be able to keep accurate records of the changes they’ve made and maintain and support the systems they’ve built once they’re active
  • Staying up-to-date with new technologies: The software industry evolves rapidly, and engineers need to constantly learn and adapt to stay relevant. Software Engineers also play an active role in the development and discovery of emerging software technologies

Beyond these core skills, Software Engineers often need specific technical expertise depending on their area of focus. For example, Web Developers might need expertise in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript frameworks, while data scientists might be proficient in statistical analysis tools and machine learning algorithms.

What qualifications are needed to become a Software Engineer? 

You may be wondering how to become a Software Engineer. Well, there’s no singular answer to that question as there are multiple routes into this exciting and rewarding field, all of which centre around gaining knowledge of writing code and strong computing skills. 

Vocational Technical courses

If a career in Software Engineering appeals to you but you don’t know where to start, you can begin with a Level 2 course. Capital City College Group (CCCG) runs free short courses in both  Software Engineering (Level 2 Introduction) and Software Development

Once you’ve scoped out the field with an introductory course, you can choose from a wide range of college courses at all levels. Here’s a selection of relevant courses which are run by CCCG:

A Levels

Studying A Level courses such as IT or Computer Science can be a good route to Higher Education or further training. We currently offer Computer Science as an A Level at both our CANDI and WestKing colleges.

T Levels

T Level courses are an alternative to A Levels and offer an educational pathway that consists of 80% classroom-based study and 20% industry placement. Each T Level includes a 45-day placement within a related industry organisation or company. The T Level in Digital Production, Design and Development at WestKing and the T Level in Digital Production, Design and Development at CANDI both provide great opportunities for learners at this level.


When it comes to getting practical experience and theoretical knowledge, apprenticeships offer the best of both worlds. You’ll also earn a wage while doing an apprenticeship, which is a definite bonus. Apprenticeship courses like CCCG’s Software Developer – Level 4 Apprenticeship help you develop your skills while furthering your expertise.

Programming Boot Camps

These intensive courses are designed to train Software Engineers in around 12 weeks. Led by programmers, the courses give participants the skills and knowledge needed to work in the field.

Boot camps are typically aimed at people looking to develop specialist knowledge in a particular area of Software Engineering so they are much less in-depth than other forms of training. 

Boot camps work well as a supplementary qualification rather than a main one – as employers may require more formal training. It may be a better idea to save your money and invest your time in a free short course such as the Software Engineering Level 2 Introduction or Software Development.

Higher Education

Many undergraduate degrees lead to a career in Software Engineering. Degrees in IT and Computer Science like the Computer Science Bsc With a Foundation Year at Staffordshire University will give you the theoretical knowledge and experience to start working in this field after graduation. There are also specific degrees in software development and Software Engineering that will put you in a good position to hit the ground running.

A degree in a relevant subject could also lead to a graduate training programme. This employer-led route takes you straight from university into paid employment. These programmes incorporate training and development, usually over 2 years, and lead to a specific company role.

How much do Software Engineers get paid in the UK?

The average Software Engineer salary is around £50,000, making it a highly rewarding career path. The starting salary for a Junior Software Engineer is around £24,000, but this can go up to £70,000+ for more senior professionals or consultants. 

That’s all very enticing, but you may be asking yourself ‘Is there a lot of demand for Software Engineers? Absolutely. Software Engineers continue to be in high demand, with tech growth continuing to push the need for qualified professionals. As such, Software Engineer roles often come with attractive company perks like annual bonuses and higher-than-average pension contributions.

How hard is it to become a Software Engineer? 

The answer to this question depends on your chosen pathway:

  • University degree: A bachelor’s degree requires dedication and academic commitment. A relevant degree such as a Computer Science BSc places you in a good position to get your first role as a Software Engineer
  • College courses: College courses in Computing and IT take time to complete, especially if you’re studying while working. However, there are flexible options to take you from one level to another and being part of a college community can help with motivation and networking
  • Bootcamps and online courses: These programmes are intensive and require a focused effort but can be completed in a shorter timeframe. However, employers may be looking for more formal and in-depth training
  • Apprenticeships: Balancing work and learning can be challenging, but a software developer apprenticeship offers practical experience as well as academic guidance

Career progression

As you progress in this field, you’ll be able to take on more challenging and exciting projects. After gaining some experience, you could:

  • Take on a senior role and manage a team
  • Head up larger projects and work more closely with clients
  • Go on to work in similar fields such as systems design or IT architecture
  • Offer your skills as a consultant
  • Start your own business

Software Engineers are in demand the world over, with larger companies having offices across the globe. If you’re interested in travelling, you could find work overseas and further your career in another country.


Now that you know how to become a Software Engineer, you can consider which pathway might best suit you and your skills. CCCG’s wide range of Computing and IT courses is a great place to start.

The field of Software Engineering continues to thrive around the globe, with new discoveries fuelling exciting developments as we speak. If you’re looking for a career that is vibrant, current and highly rewarding – jump right in!

Apply for our Computing and IT courses now!

How to become an Accountant in the UK

Discover what it takes to become an Accountant and plan for your dream career with this helpful guide.

The world of business relies on the meticulous work of the Accountant. They keep a careful eye on a company’s income and expenditure and ensure the smooth operation of finances. If you are drawn to the world of numbers, then a course in Accounting could be well worth considering.

Our comprehensive career guide will show you how to become an Accountant by breaking down key steps, Accountant qualifications, and career options for this rewarding and lucrative profession.

How to become an Accountant

You might presume that you need to be a maths whizz with a finance degree to become an Accountant, but that’s not actually the case. There are, in fact, multiple routes to becoming an Accountant.

You could:

AAT CourseHow long it takesTypical job opportunities
Level 2 Certificate in Accounting1 YearAccounts Administrator, Accounts Assistant and Trainee Accounting Technician
Level 3 Diploma in Accounting1 YearAccounts Payable Clerk, Assistant Accountant, Audit Trainee, Bookkeeper, Credit Controller, Finance Assistant, Payroll Administrator, Tax Assistant
Level 4 Diploma in Professional Accounting2 YearsAccounts Payable and Expenses Supervisor, Assistant Financial Accountant, Commercial Analyst, Cost Accountant, Payroll Manager, Senior Bookkeeper, Senior Finance Officer, Tax Supervisor

Do an Apprenticeship in Accounting at a college like CCCG. There are three levels of apprenticeship, intermediate, advanced and higher/degree – each leading to different employment opportunities.

Type of ApprenticeshipEquivalent to…Typical job opportunities
Intermediate (Level 2)GCSEAccounts Assistant/Clerk, Cashier, Finance Assistant and Sales Ledger Clerk
Accounting Advanced (Level 3)A LevelAssistant Accountant and Trainee Accounting Technician roles
Accouting Higher (Levels 4-7)
Degree (levels 6-7)
Foundation Degree
Bachelors or Masters Degree
Accounts Manager or Accounts Technician

You’ll need different professional Accountant qualifications depending on the area you decide to specialise in. The CCCG Accounting Academy offers a fast-track route into Accounting for those aged 16 to 24, including internships, mentoring and the opportunity to network with industry professionals.

How to become a Chartered Accountant

The prestigious title of ‘Chartered Accountant’ indicates an in-depth knowledge of financial matters and is given to financial professionals who have completed a minimum of 3 years of training, passed a series of rigorous exams and agreed to abide by a code of ethics.

To become a Chartered Accountant you’ll need to get a training agreement from an approved company and follow a training route with one of the professional institutes of Chartered Accountants.

Companies are often more likely to offer training contracts to candidates with a degree, but there are other options:

  • A certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business (CFAB) can bridge the gap between a degree and a training contract
  • The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) Accounting qualification doesn’t require a degree and can lead to Chartered Accountant training
  • The National Audit Office (NAO) offers a Chartered Accountancy Training Scheme for both school leavers (5-year route) and graduates (3-year route)

A training contract usually lasts 3-5 years. While working as a trainee Accountant, you’ll be expected to complete your studies at the same time, which can be demanding. It’s important to consider what a company can offer in terms of training, leave and salary before accepting a training contract.

People who complete Chartered Accountant qualifications through ICAS or Chartered Accountants Ireland will be awarded the letters CA (Chartered Accountant) and those who qualify through ICAEW will have ACA (associate of the ICAEW) after their name. You’ll also need to become a member of The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).

What do Accountants do? The roles and responsibilities

The world of Accounting is vast and varied, offering a multitude of roles to suit your interests and skills. Broadly speaking, Accountants help businesses to manage their money while also working to maximise profits.

General duties involve:

  • Preparing financial reports
  • Checking financial records for accuracy (auditing)
  • Providing financial advice
  • Managing tax paperwork and payments
  • Looking after budgets
  • Forecasting profits and performance to support decision-making

There are many different types of Accountant, each with different responsibilities, for example:

Type of AccountantWhere they workWhat they do
Private Practice AccountantAn accountancy service or professional service – working with a range of clientsSupport businesses and help them manage their finances 
Management AccountantsWithin a business/companyLook at ways to increase profits through forecasting and strategic business planning
Public Finance AccountantsPublic sector organisations, including local councils, government departments, the NHS and schoolsShare information with external stakeholders through financial reporting and ensure that public sector financial activities are carried out correctly and efficiently

How much do Accountants get paid in the UK?

The range of salaries for Accountants varies in location, sector, firm size and field of work. 

  • Accounting Technician £17,000 to £34,000
  • Bookkeeper/Accounts Clerk £18,000 to £35,000
  • Public Finance Accountants, Management Accountants, and Private Practice Accountants can earn £22,000 to £65,000

Generally, the average Accountant salary is between £30,000 and £40,000 depending on the role, location and the type/size of the company.

Salaries tend to increase as you gain more Accountant qualifications, with a typical Chartered Accountant’s salary easily rising above £40,000. Those working in the business sector have the potential to earn over £100,000 with attractive bonuses.

How long does it take to become an Accountant

The length of time needed to become an Accountant depends on which route you take and which role you are aiming for.

You could become an Assistant Accountant by completing a Level 3 AAT course in as little as 6-12 months. Completing the work and training required to become a Chartered Accountant involves a longer investment of your time, and can take between 3 and 5 years depending on your training contract.

A career in Accounting is full of opportunities for growth and progression, and the routes and timelines for each professional are varied and unique.

How much does it cost to become a qualified Accountant in the UK?

The cost of becoming an Accountant can vary considerably depending on the route you choose and your individual circumstances.

If you are able to do an apprenticeship, you won’t usually incur tuition costs and will earn a wage while you study. For those heading to university, you could pay tuition fees of up to £9,250 per year for an undergraduate degree depending on which university you attend.

Training fees for AAT courses are as follows:

  • Level 2 – £600 to £2000 training provider fees (This fee covers your tuition and is paid directly to your training provider.) Standard qualification fee £424
  • Level 3 – £900 to £2000 training provider fees. Standard qualification fee £472
  • Level 4 – £1000 to £3000 training provider fees. Standard qualification fee £564

Try not to let course fees put you off if the world of finance interests you. CCCG offers a wide range of free courses to eligible students, ranging from a Level 1 Bookkeeping Award to a Level 2 Certificate (AAT) in Accounting.

The costs associated with becoming a Chartered Accountant vary greatly, but the current ICAS fee schedule comes to around £15,000. Remember, this may seem like a lot but your courses and exams will take place over a number of years, and you’ll be in paid employment while you’re studying.

Career Progression

Once you’ve worked out how to become an Accountant, there are plenty of opportunities for progression within the field. Continuing professional development (CPD) is highly valued as it’s essential for Accountants to maintain current knowledge of business and technical issues and practices. Once you’re a member of a professional organisation, you’ll be exposed to lots of learning opportunities as well as networking and industry events.

You might find that your employer offers in-house training to help you improve your skills and there may be specialised areas that you can explore which are specific to your role and company.

Most people who are completing the training to become a Chartered Accountant develop their experience and take on more responsibilities as they’re studying. As you progress, you’ll have more opportunities to manage other team members and have more direct contact with clients. Another way to spread your wings is to complete a secondment and work in another area of a company, often travelling to a new city or country.

Qualified Chartered Accountants often progress in the following way:

  • Manager (2 years after qualification)
  • Senior Manager (5 years after qualification)
  • Partner (8-15 years after qualification, sooner in smaller practices)
  • Finance director (10-15 years after qualification)


Accountancy professionals are crucial to all forms of economic activity so remain in demand and have consistent job security. The field opens the doors to a varied career with many transferable skills, competitive salaries and the opportunity to work with a range of clients to tackle an interesting array of challenges.

Apply now for our full-time, part-time or evening Accounting and Bookkeeping courses and Apprenticeships.

How to become a Counsellor or Psychotherapist in the UK

Discover the steps to becoming a certified Counsellor or Psychotherapist in the UK, including qualifications, training, experience, and career specialisms.

If you’re the kind of person who is drawn to supporting people as they face life’s challenges, then you may, at some point, have wondered how to become a therapist. This rewarding role offers the opportunity to make a significant impact on the lives of others, fostering emotional well-being and personal growth.

The demand for qualified Counsellors and psychotherapists in the UK continues to grow, driven by increasing awareness of mental health issues and the desire for accessible support. But where should you begin? Our comprehensive guide explores everything you need to know, from the skills and qualifications needed, the recommended counselling courses and psychotherapy courses to take to start your career, to the expected salary and further training opportunities.

What is the difference between a Counsellor and a Psychotherapist?

Counsellors provide support for people facing emotional and relationship issues such as bereavement, divorce, work-related problems, health conditions and anxiety. Usually, counselling will consist of formal, regular sessions over a number of weeks or months where the therapist and client discuss the client’s feelings and issues. Counsellors don’t give advice or opinions but work with their clients to gain a better understanding of themselves and find solutions to help them cope with their specific situation.

Psychotherapists tend to work with their clients over a longer period of time in order to delve deeper and explore the root causes of emotional distress. 

The roles, responsibilities and essential skills

Counsellors and Psychotherapists require strong interpersonal skills, empathy, and the ability to develop a rapport with clients.

People who intend to become a Therapist need to be:

  • Able to communicate with people from all walks of life
  • Active listeners
  • Non-judgemental, sensitive and understanding
  • Patient and able to stay calm in emotionally charged situations
  • Trustworthy, ethical and able to maintain confidentiality
  • Organised and skilled at keeping detailed and accurate notes and records

When training and working as a Counsellor or Psychologist, you’ll often be supervised so it’s important to be open to constructive criticism from a supervisor or mentor. People working in this field also need to self-reflect and have a deep understanding of their own emotional issues and triggers.

Both counselling and psychotherapy are second or third careers for many practitioners. Any relevant experience in working with adults and children in professions such as nursing, social work or teaching will undoubtedly be useful.

What qualifications do you need to be a Counsellor or Psychotherapist?

In order to work as a Counsellor, you won’t necessarily need a degree. However, most employers will expect you to have completed a counselling course and to be registered with a professional body such as the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). This demonstrates that you have met specific educational standards and have agreed to abide by a code of ethics.

So how can you train to become a Counsellor? The BACP recommends the following training route, which consists of three stages:

  1. Introduction to Counselling Skills – Level 2 Award – A basic course available at further education (FE) colleges or adult education centres that lasts 8-12 weeks. Capital City College Group (CCCG) runs a free Counselling Skills Course as part of its selection of Free Short Courses which can help you decide whether you wish to pursue a career in counselling.
  2. Counselling Studies – Level 3 Certificate – This one-year course is usually delivered part-time at FE colleges like CCCG. It offers a more in-depth understanding of counselling theories while allowing you to develop your skills and helps you prepare for the next step.
  3. Core Practitioner Training (Level 4+) – This level of training allows you to gain the knowledge, skills and abilities to start working as a counsellor. These courses could come in the shape of a Level 4 Diploma, a foundation course, an undergraduate degree or a postgraduate qualification. Core training follows strict quality standards and takes at least one year to complete, requiring a minimum of 100 supervised placement hours. Take a look at the range of HE Counselling courses CCCG has to offer.

Many Psychotherapists already have a medical background, and the role often attracts professionals from a range of backgrounds including mental health, education, and social work. If you’re wondering how to become a Psychotherapist, it’s a slightly different route. It’s recommended that you complete a postgraduate psychotherapy training programme that has been accredited by The UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP). These courses are usually delivered part-time and take between three and six years to complete. It can then take up to two more years to meet accreditation requirements, which include 450 hours of practice as well as evidence of skills and theoretical knowledge. During the course, you’ll also attend therapy sessions yourself and complete supervision.

Psychotherapy is divided into different strands, often called ‘modalities’ so it’s important to choose an approach that you feel reflects your skills and interests. 

How long does it take to become a Counsellor or Psychotherapist?

This depends entirely on your chosen path. For Counsellors, the training required to register with the BACP takes a minimum of two years. The training route recommended by the UKCP usually takes three to six years.

Honing your skills and gaining practical experience is key to becoming a Counsellor or Psychotherapist. It’s a good idea to seek out courses that include supervised placements in diverse settings like the NHS, charities, or private practices.

Gaining experience while training

Many organisations use volunteer practitioners, so volunteering is a great way to gain experience. Some organisations provide basic training and working as a volunteer can lead to further training and job opportunities.

Most professional bodies require counsellors and psychotherapists to receive a certain number of supervised hours while training. This is often given as a ratio of one hour of supervision for every six to eight hours of client sessions.

The supervisor’s role is much like that of a professional mentor. They help therapists improve their skills and work towards recommended standards while also offering both personal and psychological support. Supervision can take place one-to-one or as part of a group and can be completed in many different ways, both in-person and remotely, using written or verbal communication.

How much do Counsellors and Psychotherapists get paid?

Counsellors can earn between £20,000 to £26,000 when starting out. Some experienced counsellors earn between £30,000 and £40,000, with specialist Counsellors commanding higher salaries. NHS counselling jobs start at around £28,400 and rise to around £50,000 depending on qualifications or experience.

Trainee Psychotherapists working in the NHS can earn around £32,500 (Band 6), with salaries rising to between £43,500 and £50,000 once qualified. Principal and Consultant Psychologist roles attract higher salaries.

In private practice, hourly fees can vary from £40 to £100 for a 50-minute session, but this can vary depending on location, practitioner experience, therapist qualifications and client circumstances. 

Specialisms and further training for Counsellors and Psychotherapists

Once you’ve worked out how to become a Counsellor or Psychotherapist and completed the relevant therapy qualifications, you should register with a professional body such as the UKCP or BACP. These organisations offer a range of opportunities for continuing professional development through events, forums, courses and special interest groups. 

It’s important to keep building on your knowledge and stay up-to-date with new developments in your field. You should undertake Continuing Professional Development (CPD) throughout your career and build on your psychotherapy and counselling qualifications where possible. Training providers such as CCCG also offer postgraduate courses such as Counselling: Therapeutic Supervision, which supports professionals looking to become supervisors.

If you decide to set up a private practice, then you may want to take courses that will help you build and run your practice in areas such as marketing, finance and administration.

Building a career in Counselling or Psychotherapy

Although the demand for Counsellors and Psychotherapists continues to grow, you may find that the majority of roles on offer are either part-time or voluntary. That said, if there is a demand for your specialist area, you may find more opportunities available to you.

Counsellor roles can be found in a variety of settings, including:

  • Schools, colleges, and universities
  • Statutory and voluntary sector care agencies working with people with disabilities or on a range of specific issues (e.g. substance abuse, bereavement, rehabilitation of offenders)
  • Hospitals, GP surgeries, community healthcare settings, mental and occupational health teams and other health sector settings
  • Youth services and agencies as well as children’s centres
  • Citizens Advice services
  • HR departments within organisations/companies
  • General counselling services
  • Telephone helplines
  • Faith-based organisations

Psychotherapists can find employment in a range of places, including:

  • Hospitals, community-based clinics and health services
  • GP surgeries
  • Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services (England)
  • Psychiatric units
  • Residential children’s homes
  • Special educational needs schools
  • Student health services
  • Social services departments
  • Businesses
  • Prisons

Many Therapists choose to set up a private practice once they have more experience, working on a self-employed basis and building their own client base over time. This offers less security but can provide greater flexibility than other roles.

Next Steps

The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) says that “Counsellors and Psychotherapists play a crucial role in improving the health and wellbeing of our society.” 

If you think you could help people to talk about their feelings and create positive change in their lives, then why not take a look at the wide range of counselling courses that we offer?

CONEL students hear from industry professionals about Green careers at Green Academy event

Industry professionals from Willmott Dixon Interiors and Falcon Green visited CONEL to give students support and insight into Green careers in construction and sustainability.

Students from the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London’s (CONEL) Green Skills, Sustainability and Careers Course and the Solar Energy Course gained insight from industry professionals at an event organised by the Green Skills Academy

During the event, which took place at the Tottenham Centre on 18 January, the students were able to learn about Green industry careers from speakers with valuable experience. They heard from Rebecca Davies, Social Value Manager at Willmott Dixon Interiors, an interior fit-out company delivering projects across the UK in a range of sectors. Also presenting at the event were Conrad Mahon, Business Development Manager, and Beatriz Rodas, Communication and Engagement Manager, from Falcon Green, a national specialist construction and engineering recruitment agency.

The group of 10 students completed collaborative tasks which strengthened teamwork skills and received detailed guidance on creating a professional CV and conducting a job search based on their personal objectives. They also had the opportunity to hear more about careers in construction and sustainability while learning about educational pathways leading towards related roles.

The students benefited from being able to network with industry representatives and discuss future employment opportunities.

Interested in a career in the Green industry? Check out our range of Green Skills Academy courses here.

CONEL students organise Esports event and tournament

Students from CONEL co-ordinated and participated in an Esports event as part of their Level 3 Game Design and Animation course.

Students from the Level 3 Game Design and Animation course at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) ran an end-of-term Esports event as part of their course.

The students collaborated to plan and advertise the event which took place within the Creative Media department. After creating posters, banners and sign-up sheets, they hosted the Esports event on 21 December in the games room which forms part of the excellent IT facilities at CONEL’s Tottenham Centre.

Before the event, the students carefully carried out the necessary technical preparations, ensuring that all equipment was ready for event participants by installing games on PCs and updating a range of consoles.

Between 20 and 30 students from a range of Music, Media and Games courses at CONEL attended the event. They were able to socialise and take part in a range of games.

During the Esports event, eight students competed in a Super Smash Bros tournament. The tournament champion was Level 3 Game Design and Animation student, Ashton Panayiotou, who took home a custom-made t-shirt as his prize.

The event proved popular with students and offered them the opportunity to unwind and have fun before the end of term.

We have a wide range of Digital Media and Creative Computing courses and Computing and IT courses for learners at all levels including our Esports – Level 3 Diploma.

How to become an Electrician: training, qualifications and career progression

Our in-depth guide covers everything you need to know about becoming an Electrician in the UK, from training and qualifications to salary and career insights.

The UK electrical industry is brimming with opportunity and there is an ever-growing demand for skilled Electricians. If you are looking for a dynamic career that offers job security and the chance to make a tangible impact on those around you, then why not consider becoming an Electrician?    

In this article, we explore the skills and qualifications needed, the different Electrician courses available, and how to kickstart your career.

About the profession and demand for Electricians in the UK

Currently, the demand for skilled electrical professionals in the UK outstrips the number of qualified Electricians, creating a significant skills gap.

The surge in renewable energy installations and increasing reliance on smart technologies has created a constant need for qualified Electricians. In fact, The UK Trade Skills Index predicts that the UK will need a staggering 100,000 new Electricians by 2032, presenting a golden opportunity for those looking for a secure, rewarding career with a competitive salary.

The role, responsibilities and essential skills of an Electrician

An Electrician’s role places them at the heart of every home and business, and their work is vital to the flow of modern life.

What does being an Electrician involve?

The responsibilities of an Electrician range from troubleshooting malfunctioning lighting to maintaining critical medical systems. With the safety of others in their hands, Electricians must be meticulous in following regulations and codes to ensure that electrical systems can function without creating risk.

What are the skills required to be an Electrician?

Being an Electrician requires more than knowing your way around a toolbox. Electricians need to be able to:

  • Decipher wiring diagrams and blueprints
  • Use specialised tools with precision
  • Diagnose and solve problems
  • Think analytically to design and implement new systems
  • Understand and adhere to safety codes and regulations
  • Communicate clearly with others
  • Collaborate with clients, builders and other tradespeople

In an ever-changing landscape of new technology, Electricians also need to be able to evolve and adapt to new innovations and systems.

How to start your career as an Electrician

Whether you’re starting out or looking to change careers, you may be thinking about how to become an Electrician. In reality, there are a number of routes to becoming a certified Electrician in the UK, each with its own advantages and considerations.

Apprenticeship route

Traditionally, Electricians have learnt their trade through apprenticeships. It’s the most hands-on way to learn the ropes and combines both theoretical and practical elements of the job. On an apprenticeship, you spend around 4 years working alongside qualified Electricians, gaining invaluable experience while attending part-time classes.

For an advanced apprenticeship, such as our Level 3 Advanced Electrical Installation Apprenticeship, this must include English and maths. At the end of an apprenticeship, you’ll take an assessment to test what you’ve learned during your training.

There are two options for apprenticeships if you want to become an Electrician:

  1. Installation and Maintenance Electrician Apprenticeship
  2. Domestic Electrician Apprenticeship

There are several benefits to doing an apprenticeship:

  • Earn while you learn: You’ll receive a salary from your employer, so there’s less financial strain while you study
  • Get practical experience: Daily on-the-job training ensures you develop real-world skills, preparing you for the job
  • Network building: Apprenticeships often lead to permanent positions with the same company and foster valuable industry connections

How to become an Electrician without an Apprenticeship

To become a qualified Electrician without an apprenticeship, there are a number of routes you can take. You can enrol on full-time study, part-time or evening courses, or even on-the-job training. Each method of study will equip you with the necessary skills and qualifications to start your career as an Electrician – read on to find out more about these different options and to establish which is the right one for you.

Full-time education

For those who prefer a structured learning environment, you can enrol on one of our courses:

Check out our full list of construction courses here.

There’s a lot to be gained from full-time courses:

  • Theoretical grounding: You’ll gain a deep understanding of electrical principles, preparing you for complex tasks and assessments
  • Flexibility: You can choose from a range of course lengths and specialisations to suit your learning style and career goals
  • Networking opportunities: Being part of a college allows you to connect with fellow students and teachers and build your professional network

However, full-time courses can be expensive and not everyone is suited to academic life. Also, even after completing these courses, you’ll still need to get practical industry experience and complete an apprenticeship or a Level 3 NVQ from City and Guilds or EAL. Finally, you’ll complete an industry assessment of competence (AM2) in order to become fully qualified.

Part-time or evening courses

For many students, the challenge of juggling work and family life means that they’re unable to commit to full-time education. If you’re wondering how to become an Electrician while you work, then part-time or evening courses offer a flexible alternative. By spreading the curriculum over a longer period you can stay in your current job while upskilling or retraining. We have a wide range of free short courses to get you started.

Part-time courses have many advantages:

  • Work-life balance: You can manage existing commitments while gaining valuable electrical skills at a suitable pace
  • Less financial burden: You can ease the pressure by spreading the cost of education over a longer period
  • Enhance your skills: You can build on existing knowledge or transition from one area of work into another

The downside is that you’ll have to wait longer to become fully qualified. Also, with studies spread out over a longer period of time, it can be harder to access practical training or apprenticeship opportunities.

Apply for our part-time and short courses:

On-the-job training

Some electrical contractors offer on-the-job training, where you work on projects with experienced Electricians and learn as you go. This is a good option if you struggle with formal education or prefer a highly practical approach.

On-the-job training provides:

  • Hands-on experience: You’ll build practical skills and apply them to real projects
  • Mentorship: By learning from seasoned professionals, you’ll benefit from their insights and guidance
  • Potential job placement: Some programs lead directly to employment with the training company
  • Earn while you learn: You’ll receive a salary while you learn your trade, leaving you in a better financial position

However, on-the-job training doesn’t always leave you with a comprehensive understanding of the theory and the quality of training depends entirely on the employer.

If you have been working in the industry for at least 3-5 years but are not yet fully qualified, you can complete the Electrotechnical Experienced Worker Assessments, which are based on the same content as industry apprenticeships.

Ultimately, the best route for you will depend on your individual learning style, financial situation, and career goals. Consider your strengths, resources, and how fast you want to progress before choosing the pathway that works best for you.

How long does it take to become an Electrician?

With time being a valuable commodity, you may be wondering ‘How quickly can I become an Electrician?’ The length of time it takes to complete the relevant electrical certification can vary depending on which route you take.

  • Apprenticeships usually take around 4 years, combining on-site work with college
  • Full-time education takes 1-2 years, followed by on-the-job training
  • Part-time or evening courses can take much longer
  • Domestic installer courses offer a quicker route (as little as a month) but these are not recommended by the industry as they don’t offer enough opportunities for you to consolidate your learning or complete supervised tasks

How much does it cost to become an Electrician?

The amount you’ll spend to become an Electrician depends on your chosen route.

ApprenticeshipYour employer will receive funding so you won’t have to pay for training
Full-time educationApproximately £2,000-£7,000 Funding is usually available for students aged 14-19 and some students aged 19+ can receive financial support
On-the-job trainingFree (but doesn’t include formal qualifications)

Licensing, certification, and regulations

In the UK, there isn’t a central licensing body for Electricians, but specific sectors do require licences to work on their installations. Eg. NICEIC for domestic installations and NAPIT for electrical safety testing in rented properties.

When it comes to certification, you should register with a competent person scheme such as the Electrotechnical Certification Scheme (ECS). In order to become registered with the ECS, you will need to prove you have the correct training, qualifications and knowledge of current wiring regulations. Some employers or clients may also require specific certificates like EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) or PAT (Portable Appliance Testing).

Knowledge of the appropriate regulations is essential to ensure safety, so you’ll need to stay up to date with:

  • The IET Wiring Regulations (BS 7671): The bible of electrical safety in the UK, outlining wiring and installation standards
  • Building Regulations: Additional regulations specific to different types of buildings
  • Electrical Safety at Work Regulations: Mandates employers to ensure employee safety when working with electricity

Building a career as an Electrician

Once qualified, you can choose from a broad spectrum of careers within your new area of expertise.

  • Domestic Electrician – installing lights and sockets in homes
  • Industrial Electrician – maintaining complex systems in factories and power plants
  • Communications Electrician – setting up data networks and maintaining internet systems
  • Renewable Energy Installers – working with solar panels and wind turbines
  • Electrical Engineers – designing and testing innovative systems
  • Fire Alarm and Security Specialist – working with fire alarms and security systems

First-year apprentice Electricians can earn from around £10,000, but this increases to around £22,500 in the final year. Once qualified, trained Electricians can command an average salary of around £33,500, while more experienced professionals can earn upwards of £42,500.

Next steps

So, if you like what you’ve seen so far and want to become an Electrician, it’s time to take the next step. Consider which route would best suit you. Check out our full range of Electrical courses here.

If you think an apprenticeship would offer you the right balance of work and study, find out more about our 4-year Electrical Installation and Maintenance apprenticeship here.

How widening participation finalist CCCG broadened access to lifelong learning 

Being a finalist for the AOC Beacon Award for Widening Participation is an incredibly proud moment for Capital City College Group (CCCG). It represents the success of the college group’s initiative to increase the number of adults joining courses across London by breaking down barriers to education. 

Capital City College Group shares valuable insight into the development and rollout of its successful programme of free courses for Londoners.

Free short courses for all to suit the needs of the population

With three colleges located across London, the communities that CCCG serves are incredibly diverse. Within those areas, more than 80% of individuals have an annual income that falls below the London Living Wage.

As a large education provider, it became impossible to ignore that many people across London cannot meet the costs of developing their skills. In 2017, we started discussing ways to eliminate the financial barrier to create ‘London’s First Free College’.

Taking a programme of this scale from conception to reality involved constant analysis and feedback. However, certain things were instrumental in helping us achieve our aims.

Maintaining flexibility

After experimenting with various delivery models, including full-day, part-day, mornings, twilight, evenings, and weekends, we were able to tailor courses to meet our students’ diverse needs. For example, childcare courses proved most popular on Saturday mornings or weekdays between 9.30am and 2.30pm, accommodating students‘ childcare responsibilities while enabling them to pursue qualifications.

Our planning process remains dynamic throughout the year, integrating programme developments and adjustments to reflect the evolving needs of employers, students and the local community.

Ensuring equitable access and inclusion

The programme was created to provide equitable access and further inclusion in education, so these aims have been at the forefront of our minds throughout the process.

To engage hard-to-reach individuals, we focussed our attention on:

  1. Strengthening key relationships: Developing our partnerships with community stakeholders and local authorities to engage with prospective students from minority communities. By supporting student transition from community-based programmes to college education, we nurture a sense of belonging for those joining the college.
  2. Targeting initiatives and crafting programmes aimed at underrepresented groups: For example, our ‘Women into Construction’ initiative aims to combat gender disparities in traditionally male-dominated fields.
  3. Providing flexible support: By taking into account diverse life situations and responsibilities and recognising obstacles (work, childcare and other commitments), we respond to students’ unique requirements and support them in overcoming barriers. Students complete a personal profile during induction, which gives teachers insights into individual requirements or challenges. Regular monitoring of student progress enables timely adjustments and interventions to support and promote engagement.
Hairdressing student working on a client

Using data

Data plays a pivotal role throughout our efforts, and we use multiple data sources to inform our development process:

  • GLA and National policy priorities
  • RCU Vector software (to mine data on market reach and student needs)
  • Labour Market Information (LMI) software Lightcast (for real-time job postings and analytics)

Whilst data informs which courses we offer based on local, regional, and national priorities, we also use our locally-gathered data, for example by taking into account student interest expressed during the enrolment process.

Our emphasis on data helps us maintain accountability and transparency and it also supports continuous improvement to ensure that resources are allocated where they can have the greatest impact in promoting Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI). 

Looking towards the future

In 2022/23, we advertised 620 short courses and received more than 13,000 bookings via our website. We hope to keep building on what we’ve achieved so far, continuing to plan with our dynamic approach, and putting together new courses to meet the ever-changing needs of employers, students and the local community. 

Our in-depth self-assessment process challenges managers to check the quality of all courses, and we use student feedback and regular surveys to gather student perspectives. It’s not simply a case of adding more courses but continuing to develop and improve those already on offer.

Making an impact on the local community 

So far, more than 22,000 students have benefitted from the programme, so it has had a significant impact on the college community.

In 2017/18, only 39% of students from the free courses continued in education. By 2020/2021, this had increased to 74%, with these students progressing to apprenticeships, traineeships and higher and further education.

In 2021/22, achievement rates for students aged 19+ surpassed the national average at 90.1% (the national average was 85.5%). Our achievement for several ethnic groups, including African, Arab, Caribbean, Chinese, Gypsy/Irish Traveller, Indian, Irish, Pakistani, White British, and mixed-race White and Asian/Black Caribbean/Black African students, exceeds national averages.

Want to know more about our work? 

We are enthusiastic about sharing what we’ve learnt and invite other providers who wish to learn from our experiences to get in touch.

WestKing students get industry insight during work placement at Willmott Dixon

Engineering students from Westminster Kingsway College complete a five-week work experience placement at London-based contractor Willmott Dixon.

A small group of Level 3 Engineering students from Westminster Kingsway College (WestKing) spent time learning about the world of work at the award-winning contracting and interior fit-out group Willmott Dixon. The four students, who are all in the first year of their course, spent two days a week at the company’s central London offices for five weeks in November and December 2023.

The engineering work experience placement was organised in partnership with the Social Value Team at Willmott Dixon. The company has supported work placements at WestKing for several years, providing 70-hour placements as well as extended 315-hour placements for the college’s Engineering and Business students. While most placements are completed in-person, the college and the company have worked together to offer virtual placements when required. Willmott Dixon has been recognised for its work in promoting social mobility and diversity and has supported a number of students with special educational needs.

During the work placement, the students learnt about various aspects of business within the company and gained valuable employability skills. Over the course of the five-week placement, the students grew in confidence and worked together on a school design project. They brought together what they had learnt during the placement and prepared a presentation to showcase their ideas. The winning pitch strongly demonstrated the students’ commitment to supporting the local community. 

Tanjila Ali, Social Value Project Assistant at Willmott Dixon, said: “The students brilliantly embodied the importance of Sustainability in the built environment while effectively communicating their pitch for why their company should be chosen to win the bid.” 

Find out more about our Engineering courses here.

Angela Joyce officially starts as new CEO of Capital City College Group

Capital City College Group (CCCG) is pleased to announce the start of Angela Joyce as the new Chief Executive Officer, effective from 1st January 2024. Angela brings a wealth of experience and a strategic vision that aligns with CCCG’s commitment to provide high-quality education and foster student success.

Angela, who joins us from Warwickshire College Group, has a proven track record of leadership and a deep understanding of the further education sector.

Originally from Buckinghamshire, Angela started her career in education as a schoolteacher before moving to work in further education. Angela is noted as the youngest female college CEO when she was appointed at Peterborough Regional College in 2010, following two years as Vice Principal. Angela then moved to Warwickshire College in 2015 where her achievements include gaining degree awarding powers, a Queen’s Anniversary Prize, successful mergers, and forming a number of subsidiary companies. She now returns to her roots in the South East to join CCCG and embark on leading her third college Group in three different regions.  Angela is a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute, and a Fellow of the Chartered Institution for Further Education.

Pablo Lloyd OBE, who has served as the Interim CEO, will remain with Capital City College Group on a part-time basis as Strategic Advisor.  

Angela Joyce expressed her enthusiasm for joining CCCG, saying: ‘I look forward to working with a talented team at CCCG and building on the foundations laid by my predecessors. Together, we will continue to deliver excellence in education and empower our students for future success.’

Notes to Editors

About Capital City College Group

  • Capital City College Group (CCCG) is London’s largest further education and training provider, with around 35,000 students and an annual income of £120m.
  • The Group comprises three further education colleges: City and Islington College, The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London, and Westminster Kingsway College, as well as a specialist training arm, Capital City College Training (CCCT), and joint ventures 01 Founders and Visionnaires, focused on coding and entrepreneurship respectively.
  • CCCG has 10 college sites across central and north London for 16-18 year-olds, adult learners, apprentices and businesses. It has nationally-recognised specialisms in areas such as construction, digital technology, healthcare, hospitality, rail engineering and science.
  • CCCG gained a ‘good’ Ofsted grade in February 2023 including being awarded ‘strong’ (the highest grade) in its contribution to meeting skills needs
  • Website: https://capitalccg.ac.uk
  • For further media enquiries, email PressOffice@capitalccg.ac.uk
Queen's Award for Enterprise