Paul Cassell, Author at Capital City College Group
Accessibility & Translation

CONEL’s Green Academy Hub gives sustainable careers boost to Haringey

The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) is driving up skills to support a growing demand for sustainable construction and green technology jobs in Haringey.

The college’s Green Academy Hub will play a vital role in creating a skilled workforce across the borough to help meet the UK’s target of reaching net zero by 2050.

The hub is part of the Mayor’s Skills Academies programme to support the capital’s recovery from the COVID pandemic and was launched following a successful bid by Capital City College Group, which includes CONEL.

The climate crisis and the need to reduce carbon emissions has further driven up demand for skilled workers in the construction sector, which is already facing a huge labour shortage. According to the Construction Industry Training Board, the industry requires 225,000 extra workers by 2027.

Research by Engineering UK and City & Guilds has also recognised the growth in the green sector. It found that demand for low carbon workers is skyrocketing with job postings for renewable energy managers growing by a staggering 1,114 per cent from 2019 to 2022.

The London Plan 2021, produced by the Greater London Authority, sets out how the capital will develop over the next 20-25 years and has identified the need for 66,000 new homes a year in the city. It has set a target for 15,920 new homes to be bult in Haringey by 2028-29.

Haringey Council launched its Haringey Climate Change Action Plan in March 2021, which outlines its strategy to make the borough carbon neutral by 2041. The plan identifies ways the council has agreed to reduce its own carbon footprint along with actions on housing, other buildings and workplaces, transport, energy and community support.

The council has embarked on plans to build 3,000 new sustainable council homes in the borough by 2031. It has also announced plans for a major energy efficiency and decarbonisation retrofit of all 15,000 council homes.

Among the authority’s other green ambitions set out in the plan is a target to half road transport emissions by 2025 by providing more public transport and low carbon options and improving infrastructure including the installation of electric vehicle charging points.

Haringey Council is among the many employers and bodies CONEL has worked alongside to develop courses for the hub to train people for jobs aligned with industry needs.

Other partners include four other London boroughs and the Department for Work and Pensions,  Berkeley Group, Vistry Group, Worcester Bosch, Strive Development, MKAI, Peabody, United Living, Bloqs, Forest Recycling Project, Glass and Glazing Federation, Building Heroes and North London Waste Authority.

Over the past academic year, the hub has been piloting several free short courses on environmental awareness and introductions to green technology including air source heat pumps, solar thermal hot water systems, photovoltaic panels, electric vehicle charging points and drones.

From September the hub will be rolling out further free short courses on the installation and maintenance of the above green technology, as well as retrofitting courses at Level 1 and Level 2. These three-day long courses will provide the skills for anyone with an existing Level 3 plumbing or electrical qualification to legally work on domestic properties.

Courses will be available at the CONEL’s Tottenham Centre and the Enfield Skills Construction Academy, a partnership between Enfield Council, Countryside Partnerships and Capital City College Group, which includes CONEL.

Book a place on our free Green Academy Hub courses and here.

CANDI celebrates Angel Shed Theatre Company’s 20th anniversary

Angel Shed Theatre Company is a performing arts charity based at City and Islington College (CANDI) which will celebrate its 20th anniversary next year.

David Mabbott, Artistic and Executive Director at Angel Shed, explains more about its partnership with the college, offers his advice to aspiring actors and musicians, and also shares some the charity’s plans for its birthday over the coming months.

What is Angel Shed Theatre Company?

Angel Shed is an inclusive performing arts charity. We facilitate accessible activities for children and young people of all backgrounds. We are led by young people’s ideas, and they are active participants in the planning, creation, and performance of our work. Last year we worked with over 600 local children and young people between the ages of seven and 19, including over 100 attending our theatre, music and movement sessions each week.

Tell us about your role at Angel Shed and your own performing arts career.

In my role as Artistic and Executive Director I oversee the organisation, working with our core office team to support our membership, volunteers, and outreach work as well as raising funds for the charity. I also work with our twelve-strong facilitation team in the planning and delivery of all workshops and performances.

My career in the performing arts began as a musical director, working on youth, amateur and professional musical theatre productions. I then began to focus on work in community arts settings as a musician and theatre practitioner, alongside work in the UK and Europe as a composer and instrumental performer.

Tell us a more about Angel Shed’s partnership with CANDI?

Angel Shed has been based in the CANDI’s Centre for Business Arts and Technology on Camden Toad since we were established in 2004. This partnership has been crucial to Angel Shed’s work over the years, and we are excited that our 20th anniversary is a great opportunity to celebrate our long-standing relationship with CANDI. 

How does this partnership support CANDI students?

CANDI students gain work experience in our weekly sessions. They also support children and young people in groups and one-to-one, lead games and perform with members on stage in end-of-term productions. We ensure students’ skills are developed and they are provided with training and ongoing support.

All volunteers get inclusive facilitation training, safeguarding training, a free DBS check and employer references. We aim to provide them with the training, skills and confidence to support them going onto further training or employment.

In addition, we regularly provide additional opportunities to CANDI students working on lighting and sound and other roles backstage and front of house. We also partner with specific courses to provide real world applications to course briefs, such as fashion students designing costumes for our shows.

What are the benefits of this relationship to Angel Shed?

Angel Shed members are fortunate to be able to use the fantastic spaces at CANDI for rehearsals and performances. The professional music rooms, dance studio and theatre provide our participants with such a great experience.

Almost three quarters of Angel Shed participants come from low-income backgrounds and access our financial support. Islington has the seventh highest rate of children living in poverty in the country and the majority of Angel Shed members live in the five most deprived wards in the borough.

Having our base at CANDI, in the heart of the Islington community, enables us to better reach those children and young people who might find it hardest to access such opportunities. Furthermore, over a third of our youth members have special educational needs or are disabled and being able to run our sessions in an accessible building is invaluable.

How have CANDI students contributed to Angel Shed’s success?

Our volunteers are the heart and soul of Angel Shed and we could not do what we do without them. Our large volunteer team allows for a high ratio of adults to participants in each session and ensures the best possible support for all members and ensures that everybody is allowed to take part. CANDI students in particular are great role models to Angel Shed’s children and young people and bring such a brilliant energy to our sessions.

What advice would you give to Performing Arts students?

People understandably get hooked on the idea of stage and screen acting but keep your mind open to other routes. Performing arts also takes places in a variety of settings, from schools and community centres to hospitals and prisons. Even the most successful performers benefit from having as varied a skill set as possible, so look to get experience in lighting, sound design, stage management or marketing.

What are your future plans for Angel Shed?

We are looking forward to celebrating 20 years of Angel Shed over the next 12 months. We have lots planned, from a dance film and music recordings to a pub quiz and more than a dozen performances. Check out our social media for regular updates.

Find out more about Angel Shed Theatre Company here.

Apply now for Performing Arts courses at CANDI here.

New spectator safety stewards kick off careers at Tottenham Hotspur

Newly qualified safety stewards have been awarded their certificates after successfully completing their training at Tottenham Hotspur as the new football season kicks off.

The stewards were each presented with a Spectator Safety Level 2 Certificate at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium ahead of Spurs’ first Premier League home match against Manchester United on 19 August.

The 62,850-seater stadium is considered to be one of the best stadiums in the world and has also hosted many other sporting events including NFL games, rugby and boxing; as well as music concerts by Guns N’ Roses, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

More than 400 stewards at the club have enrolled on the Level 2 programme since the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) began running it in 2020, to gain practical skills and knowledge in all aspects of spectator safety for events.

Around 30 stewards looking to gain skills for steward supervisory roles at the stadium have also started training for their Spectator Safety Level 3 Certificate this year.

Lewis Taylor, 19, who was among those completing the Level 2 Certificate, said: “Working as a steward feels a lot more purposeful than other jobs. Here, I feel I contribute a lot more and I’m playing a vital role in the security of the stadium.

“I’ve become more assertive and confident and learnt to put my foot down without being rude or aggressive. I now feel I can handle the responsibility and provide a high level of safety.”

Thomas Wheelhouse, 18, who also attained the Level 2 Certificate, said: “When I started, I thought it would just be about scanning people’s tickets and taking them to their seats, but during the course I learnt so much more about how to keep people safe and make sure they have a good time.

“Anything can happen so quickly, and if I panic other people will. Knowing what to do in an emergency means I am able stay calm under pressure and deal with it. There’s a lot of responsibility, but we have a good team and everyone works so well with each other.”

Shiv Emmimath, Head of Employability and Trade Union Education at CONEL, and Zoe Smith, Safety Officer at Tottenham Hotspur, presented the Level 2 Certificates to the stewards.

Shiv said: “CONEL is the biggest education provider in the local area and Spurs is the largest employer with the best stadium in the country, so it made sense for us to work together.

“We provided funding to train the club’s stewards and co-designed a fantastic bespoke programme with them. The qualification sets the benchmark for spectator safety qualifications across the country. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that it’s delivered at Spurs, enriched by real-event scenarios that enhance the learners’ experience.

“This programme has achieved remarkable success over three years in developing the skills and knowledge of every steward protecting the spectators on event days.”

Eileen Williams MBE, Head of Event Safety at Tottenham Hotspur, said: “Our partnership with CONEL has gone from strength to strength and been a great success. They have listened to our business needs, supported us with funding and our achievement rates are good.

“As part of the working agreements for the new stadium, we’re required to engage and work more with the local organisations and a quarter of our workforce and on event days must come from the local area, so the college was a natural link for us when it came to training our stewards.

“We look forward to continuing to grow or relationship with CONEL and are committed to investing in our people and giving local residents career opportunities to better the community.”

Safety steward vacancies and other career opportunities at Tottenham Hotspur can be found here.

Don’t delay! Enrol at CCCG’s colleges now and unlock your potential

Undecided about your next steps after school or looking to gain new skills? Here’s our top 10 reasons to enrol at college.

Enrolling at a further education college can be a transformative step towards realising your full potential.

Whether you’re a school-leaver weighing up your options or an adult seeking to enhance your skills, studying with Capital City College Group (CCCG) will open doors to a world of growth and opportunity.

CCCG comprises City and Islington College, Westminster Kingsway College and the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London, and apprenticeship and training provider Capital City College Training (CCCT).

Here’s 10 reasons to enrol now to study at our colleges in September.

Tailored Learning Experience

One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to education. We offer a range of academic, technical and vocational courses in various fields. We’ll find a course that aligns with your interests and aspirations.

Practical Skills

Colleges excel in practical, hands-on skills that apply to the real world. Many of our courses are taught by experienced professionals with a deep understanding of the industry.

Pathways to Higher Education

Colleges offer various pathways to university including A Levels, T Levels and technical and vocational courses such as BTECs, all of which can lead to degrees and other higher education qualifications.

Faster Entry into the Workforce

We offer courses that run from a few weeks to a couple of years, enabling you to gain a qualification and enter the workforce more quickly compared to university study.

Flexible Learning Options

Balancing education with other commitments can be challenging, especially for adults with jobs and families. We provide flexible learning options such as part-time, evening and online learning.

Personalised Support

Our colleges offer smaller class sizes, allowing for more personalised attention from your tutors. This means you receive better guidance and support to ensure you stay on track and excel in your studies.

Build a Strong Network

College is not just about the education, but about building connections. We bring together people of all backgrounds to create a community where you can learn, collaborate and expand your network.

Affordable Option

Colleges are a more cost-effective alternative to university. All our courses are free for 16-18s and many are free to adults. We also offer bursaries and advice on additional financial support.

Embrace Lifelong Learning

Education is a lifelong journey. By enrolling at college, you’re and showing a commitment to personal and professional growth, which can be not only be incredibly fulfilling but also impress employers.

Empowerment and Confidence

Acquiring new skills and knowledge can boost your self-confidence. The sense of accomplishment from successfully completing a course can have a positive effect in all areas of your life.

Find out more about our courses and apprenticeships and apply here.

Principal praises ‘exceptional’ WestKing students as they celebrate A Level results

Students as Westminster Kingsway College were full of joy and smiles as the celebrated success in this year’s A Level results.

Among this year’s top performing students in this year’s A Levels were Sophie Campbell, Nayhomi Esaw, Samuel Pozas Perilla, Tuang Cong Dinh, Jade Cornwall-Richards and Nathaniel Dowding.

Sophie, 20, who achieved an A* in English Literature and Bs in History and Psychology, is heading to Tokyo University to study Japanese.

She said: “I felt okay this morning. I wasn’t very nervous at all and looking forward to celebrating with my friends. If I was to give future A Level students a bit of advice on their studies, I would tell them to be organised and work hard and you’ll get the results you deserve.”

Nayhomi, 20, attained three As in Chemistry, Biology and Maths, said: “I’m very happy with my results. I checked with UCAS this morning, so knew I had got into university but was keen to know what grades I got. I was expecting a B in Chemistry, so I was quite surprised to get an A.

“My teachers were very supportive. If I had any questions on particular topics, I could contact them on Teams or email and they always responded quickly. They also gave lots of past exam paper questions, which was very useful in preparing how to answer the questions for the exams.”

Samuel, 20, is looking to study Politics and International Relations at university after gaining an A in Spanish and Politics and a B in Sociology.

“I was really nervous this morning. The teachers were the most important factor during my two years. They were absolutely amazing and very helpful,” he said.

WestKing also saw many students achieve Distinction grades on Level 3 Extended Diploma courses, which are equivalent to three A Levels and accepted by most universities.

Elizabeth Azuero, Joan Martinez and Nuria Morocho Casco are all heading to university after achieving Distinctions on a Music Performance and Production Extended Level 3 Diploma.

Nuria, 18, said: “We did a lot of work outside the college working on our projects, doing research, writing blogs about everything and evaluations. I worked hard, stayed focused and made the best of my time at college.”

Offering her advice to prospective students, Elizabeth, 24, added: “If you want to do something and become successful in the future, work hard and make the most of every opportunity.”

Joshua Ofege, 18, is heading to the University of Kent to study Computer Science after gaining a DDM on an Engineering Level 3 Extended Diploma.

He said: “I am very happy with my grades. I called my parents and they were very happy and excited. The teachers helped me a lot. They gave me a lot of materials to help with studying and guided me on what to study at home.”

WestKing offers a wide range of A Levels, T Levels, technical and vocational courses such as BTECs, and apprenticeships across its centres in central London.

Jasbir Sondhi, Vice Principal of Westminster Kingsway College, said: “I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to our exceptional students on their fantastic A Level results.

“They have worked incredibly hard and shown great commitment throughout their studies and I wish them every success in the next chapter of their lives.

“I would also like to recognise the invaluable role played by our teachers and staff and thank them for the unwavering support and guidance that has been instrumental in shaping their educational journey.”

WestKing is part of Capital City College Group (CCCG), which also comprises City and Islington College and the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London, and apprenticeship and training provider Capital City College Training.

WestKing saw 39.5 per cent of students achieve A*-C grades in their results with many securing places on degree courses at universities and other higher education institutions.

Kurt Hintz, Executive Principal at CCCG, said: “Congratulations to our exceptional students on their remarkable achievements in their A Level exams. Their unwavering commitment to academic excellence has been truly inspiring and has led them to tremendous success.

“These great results serve as a testament to their relentless hard work and unwavering determination. They should feel immensely proud of their well-deserved accomplishments, and we wish them well for their next steps.”

Find out more about courses and apprenticeships at WestKing and apply here.

Understanding UCAS Clearing: Your path to Higher Education

Not got the grades you need for your chosen university? Don’t panic, here’s our guide to UCAS Clearing and how to find a place.

With A Level results day just around the corner, what do you do if you do not get the grades for your preferred university or have second thoughts about where and what you want to study?

This is where the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) Clearing comes into play, providing a vital lifeline for students who find themselves without a confirmed place.

What is UCAS Clearing?

UCAS is responsible for managing applications to Higher Education institutions. Clearing is a system that operates within UCAS to help students secure university places if they haven’t received offers or met the conditions of their offers.

When does Clearing take place?

Clearing typically opens in July and continues until late September. However, it is most commonly used on A Level results day when students receive their exam grades.

It’s important to note that Clearing is not just for students who didn’t achieve their expected grades. It is also for those who have changed their minds about their course choices or institutions after receiving their offers.

Who can use Clearing?

UCAS Clearing is available to various groups of students:

  • Those who have applied after the 30 June deadline.
  • Students who didn’t receive any offers or declined all their offers.
  • Individuals who didn’t meet the conditions of their offers.
  • Students who’ve changed their minds about their chosen course or institution.
  • Those who have been released from their firm choice through the UCAS Adjustment process.

How to navigate Clearing

  • Research: Before Clearing begins, research universities and courses that have available spaces. UCAS publishes a list of institutions with vacancies, and many universities also post them on their websites.
  • Contact universities: Once you’ve identified potential courses, contact universities directly to find out about available places. Be prepared to discuss your qualifications, grades and reasons for wanting to join the course.
  • UCAS application: Update your UCAS Track account with the details of the university that’s made you an offer. This is essential for your application to be processed officially.
  • Receive confirmation: If a university decides to offer you a place, they’ll update your UCAS Track account. You’ll have a limited time to accept this offer officially.
  • Confirmation and acceptance: Once you’ve accepted an offer through UCAS, you’re committed to that university. This means you won’t be able to enter Clearing again, so ensure your decision is well considered.

Tips for success

  • Be prepared: Have your personal statement, exam results and UCAS ID ready when contacting universities.
  • Stay informed: UCAS updates its vacancy list regularly, so keep an eye out for new opportunities.
  • Stay positive: Clearing might not have been your initial plan, but it can lead to fantastic opportunities you may not have considered.
  • Act swiftly: Available places can fill up quickly, so don’t delay in contacting universities.

UCAS Clearing helps to ensure Higher Education remains accessible to all students by helping to find a place that suits them. Whether you’re seeking an alternative path or a fresh start, remember that Clearing is there to support and guide you toward your academic aspirations.

CCCG offers a number of Higher Education courses. Find out more and apply here.

More information about university and careers advice at CCCG’s colleges can be found here.

CCCG Head of International Development honoured by South Korean government

The face behind international development at Capital City College Group (CCCG) has been honoured by the South Korean government for her commitment to education.

Seungeun Chang, Head of International Development and Operations, was presented with a Merit Award at a ceremony at the South Korean Embassy on 7 August.

She received the award from South Korean Ambassador Yeocheol Yoon, on behalf Minister for Foreign Affairs Park Jin, at the event to commemorate World Korean Day.

Seungeun said: “I am very grateful for this recognition, which has made me reflect on my career and think about what I have done and what I would like to do next.

“I am incredibly proud of what I have achieved and the impact I have had through my work. I am so blessed and lucky to have so many kind people around me who inspire, support and cheer me along the way.”

Seungeun, who was born and raised in Seoul, has been responsible for overseeing the Turing Scheme, the UK’s global study and education programme, which has seen around 100 students and staff from across CCCG’s colleges visit South Korea.

While there they have had the opportunity to meet their South Korean peers, embrace the culture and gain valuable insights into education and careers in the country.

Seungeun and her team have also been responsible for providing a wide range of training opportunities for more than 400 South Korean students, including hosting 220 in London.

Seungeun moved to the UK and joined Westminster Kingsway College, part of CCCG, in June 2011 having previously worked for the British Council in South Korea for 11 years.

She said: “Looking back, the last 23 years of my career have been dedicated to promoting and exporting UK education. It has been such a privilege to connect and build partnerships and friendships between the people of my two loving countries.”

Read about one of this year’s Turing Scheme trips to South Korea here.

Find out more about our courses and apprenticeships at CCCG and apply here.

CCCG receives Mayor’s Quality Mark for Health and Social Care

Capital City College Group (CCCG) has received a Mayor’s Skills Academies Quality Mark in recognition of its high-quality training in health and social care.

CCCG was awarded the accolade by the Greater London Authority (GLA) after demonstrating its excellent provision and commitment to train people to work in the sector.

The Group offers many Health and Social Care courses and apprenticeships at its three colleges – City and Islington College, Westminster Kingsway College and the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London – and its apprenticeship and training provider Capital City College Training.

CCCG has now received all six of the GLA’s Quality Marks having also successfully maintained its five existing Quality Marks for Creative, Digital, Hospitality, Green and Construction this year.

Four of these Quality Marks – Creative, Digital. Hospitality and Green – have resulted in the development of Mayor of London Skills Academy Hubs at the Group’s colleges.

Confirming CCCG’s latest Quality Mark for Health and Social Care, the GLA said: “The Mayor’s Skills Academies Quality Mark aims to set a high bar for skills training in London that responds to the needs of sectors key to London’s recovery. 

“The Quality Mark is only awarded to training providers who deliver high-quality provision in the digital, creative, health and social care, hospitality, green and construction sectors, which meets the GLA’s published assessment criteria.”

Quality Mark status enables colleges to connect with other education providers across London to promote skills provision, collaborate and share knowledge and address challenges in the sector. In the past it has also led to financial investment to support training.

To achieve the Quality Mark, CCCG had to show how its courses and apprenticeships are industry relevant and successful at getting people into employment and further training.

The Group also had to provide evidence to show the strength of its relationships with employers and sector bodies and how its teachers keep up to date with industry trends, along with details about its training facilities and how it attracts applicants from underrepresented backgrounds.

Jackie Chapman, Executive Director for Growth and Partnerships at CCCG, said: “I am delighted to see this recognition of our provision. CCCG has a wide offer and has focused attention over the last year in supporting the industry fill emerging skills gaps.

“We provide sector-based work academies, directly supporting local residents into jobs, and our work with NHS Trusts is expanding year on year with specialisms such as pharmacy and maternity. Our full-time offer ranges from a Level 1 course in basic healthcare to high level specialisms such as ophthalmology.

“The achievement of gaining all six available Quality Marks represents the fantastic provision now available at CCCG to employers and residents in London.”

Find out more about Health and Social Care courses and apprenticeships and apply here.

Applied Science students to go head-to-head in WorldSkills UK finals

Two Science students from Capital City College Group (CCCG) will go head-to-head in the national finals of this year’s WorldSkills UK competition.

Dante Senior, 19, and Andy Brenya, 20, will compete against six other finalists from across the country in the Laboratory Technician challenge in Manchester in November.

WorldSkills UK aims to raise standards in technical education and apprenticeships through a series of national competitions to support high-quality skills training and boost the economy.

Dante and Andy took part in the competition while studying for an Applied Science Level 3 Diploma at City and Islington College (CANDI) and the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) respectively this year.

The pair reached the final after undertaking two three-hour challenges in chromatography and titration in the National Qualifier of the Lab Technician competition at Middlesex University.

They were among eight students from across both colleges chosen for the National Qualifiers after demonstrating their skills through a series of online learning assessments.

Dante, who has just completed the first year of his diploma at CANDI, said: “I feel ecstatic to reach the finals. It was incredible news as I wasn’t sure if I’d get through because I’d never done something like this before.

“Our teachers were very supportive and prepared us well in the weeks leading up to the qualifiers. We came in at half-term to practise and hone our skills, which happened to be the same practicals we were asked to do at Middlesex.

“There were times when I saw I was quite far behind compared to everyone else, but I managed to make it up and everything worked out in the end.”

Andy completed his course at CONEL this year and will start a BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical Science at the University of Hertfordshire in September.

He said: “I honestly didn’t expect to get through to the final. I am very excited. It is a big accomplishment and I’m very happy.

“I was confident when I went into the qualifier because I had prepared well, but when I saw they were only going to pick eight out of 80 or so people who were competing. Initially, there was some pressure because you could see other people doing it, but I took my time and focused on my own work and that kept me calm.

“My teachers said just getting being part of the competition was important, but once I was there I wanted to win.”

WorldSkills UK challenges are designed by industry experts and develop participants’ technical and employability skills including resilience, self-confidence and communication.

The finals will see 442 students and apprentices compete in 51 skills challenges from accounting, construction and health and social care to beauty therapy, landscaping and cybersecurity.

Ben Blackledge, Chief Executive of WorldSkills UK, said: “I offer my congratulations to all of the National Finalists. 

“We know our competition-based training programmes deliver real value and benefits to the young person taking part, but the programmes also provide opportunity for the development of their educators and trainers in delivering training that meets the latest industry standards.

“The young people that take part in our national programme are a true inspiration and demonstrate the skills we have in the UK.”

The medallists will be announced at a ceremony at The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester on 17 November

Find out more about Science and Forensics courses with CCCG and apply here.

School technicians discover more at CCCG’s first STEM Technicians Conference

School technicians had the chance to find out more about the latest developments in science education at a conference hosted by Capital City College Group (CCCG).

More than 100 staff from schools across London and the South-east attended the first CCCG Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) Technicians Conference.

The event at City and Islington College (CANDI), which is part of CCCG, was an opportunity for technicians to network with experts, suppliers and their peers, learn about new industry innovations and discuss ideas at a series of presentations and workshops.

Education consultant David Swinscoe, a former Director of CANDI’s Centre for Applied Science, gave a speech at the conference about science education policy including the introduction of T Levels.

Addressing the technicians at the event, he said: “I believe that young people ought to be doing practical work when they are studying science, and not just reading and hearing about it. The UK has a good record of young people getting their hands dirty, rolling up their sleeves and doing science, and that is no small part down to what you do.”

Workshops at the event included various practical sessions on chemistry, physics and biology and others on using artificial intelligence, chemical storage and stock control, electronics and soldering, making and labelling solutions and data logging.

CANDI Science Technicians Britney Ofori and Melissa Nagas gave a presentation on their careers and how they support students through various practical activities including setting up a crime scene.

Julie Nicholson, Senior Technician at Harris Science Academy East London, said: “I’ve got to know more technicians and picked up some ideas in the workshops to take back to my school when I am setting up practical experiments for students, which will inspire and improve their learning.

“I was very impressed with the knowledge of the science technicians here and will be keeping in touch.”

Aaron Augustus, Science Technician at Kensington Aldridge Academy, said: “It’s been great to learn new STEM techniques and hear from other technicians about how they work in their schools, and having an insight into how the science and ethics around our jobs is advancing and changing.

“It was good to learn from other people about their experiences and other career paths you can take as a science technician. It doesn’t have to be strictly one route. It can be with schools, but it can also be applied to industry as well.”

Among the organisations and suppliers at the conference were the Royal Society of Chemistry, Royal Society of Biology, LaBLiFe, Nickel-Electro, Philip Harris, Data Harvest, VITTA Education, Labexpert UK, SLS Select Education, Breckland Scientific and Samples for Schools.

Chris Pambou, Chief Science Technician at CANDI, who organised the event, said: “Technicians play a vital role in education. Without them, teachers would find it very difficult to teach the practical side of their courses. They organise labs, set up and maintain equipment for practical assignments and support students in class.

“However, there is very little training out there for technicians, which is why events like this are so important to keep them up to date with the latest developments in science and technology.

“Today has been very successful. Many of the technicians here have come up to me and said how much it will be beneficial to their careers.”

Find out more about Science and Forensics courses and apply here.

Queen's Award for Enterprise