During National Apprenticeships Week in February, Feryal Clark, the MP for Enfield North, visited our Enfield centre, to celebrate the week with us and meet some of the staff who deliver our engineering and construction apprenticeships, as well as our apprentice students.
During her visit, Feryal had a tour of the centre with CONEL’s Vice Principal Robin Hindley and Strategic Adviser for Engineering Development, Barry Connelly. She saw the London Rail Academy that we run, which trains students for careers in rail engineering, and the new London Welding Academy – which we have set up with the construction giant Ardmore – as well as the centre’s high quality sports facilities, and hairdressing and beauty salons.
The apprentices at our London Rail Academy are mostly recruited directly by rail companies (including Bombardier, Alstom and Transport for London) and the Academy delivers rail-specific training to around 200 apprentices, 80 of whom are Enfield residents.
The college set-up the London Welding Academy, which will provide apprenticeship training for off-site manufacturing specialist Paddington, part of the Ardmore Group, in just 28 weeks – very quick for this type of specialist provision. CONEL and Ardmore have committed to running the academy for five years and Ardmore has provided welding masks, equipment and metal to develop apprentices’ skills. 21 apprentice welders started in January 2022 with a joint commitment with Ardmore to start a similar number of welding apprentices every year for the next five years.
Robin Hindley said: “Our Enfield centre is a fantastic site and it was great to have the opportunity to meet Feryal and show her what we do here. Feryal is a real supporter of apprenticeships and can see the incredible value they offer to learners, and she appreciated the chance to meet some of our apprentices and find out more about their courses. She was very impressed by the teaching and learning facilities that we provide.
“We also talked through some of the policy changes that we want to see, especially the positive impact that free courses have on students, and our thoughts on T Levels. We also explained about how being part of CCCG has helped the college stay strong and win new business, like the Green Mayor’s Academy Hub, and the benefits that we bring to Enfield and its residents. Feryal really enjoyed her visit and wants to come back in the future. I look forward to welcoming her back!”