Since opening its gates in November 2017, our Enfield Centre’s 3G Sports Pitch has been home to some amazing footballing talent ranging from our very own Charlton Athletic Academy players to local football teams. Of the local teams that make use of the pitch, Jack Wilshere’s NCF Elites (JW’S NCF Elites) has become a regular partner.

As well as bringing some of North London’s top youth talent to Enfield, JW’S NCF Elites has recently invited ex-professional footballers including Tony Adams, Aaron Ramsey, Ashley Cole, and David Seaman along to help coach and inspire the next generation of football. Posting Jack Wilshere to the position of working Director in February 2019, the company – previously known as NCF Elites – has been able to make use of the West Ham & England midfielder’s industry contacts, bringing seasoned professionals along with him to weekly training sessions.

This is what Nick Cook, JW’S NCF Elites Director, had to say about our facilities: “We are delighted to be working with CONEL and the fantastic facilities they have available. They have offered us great support on our journey so far and we look forward to our partnership developing further during the coming months and years.”

CONEL and its sister colleges in Capital City College Group recently welcomed a group of twelve teachers from Guangdong Construction Polytechnic on a 3 week teacher training programme. The programme included an introductory week of presentations and sessions introducing teachers to vocational education in the UK, a week of pedagogy workshops and a week of shadowing and observation with engineering and construction teams at CONEL’s Enfield Centre.

During the introductory week teachers met managers from the Capital City College Training team to learn about employer engagement and apprenticeships. They also undertook training sessions with Westminster Kingsway College including an Enterprise workshop and a session on digital technologies in the classroom.

During their week with CONEL’s Engineering and Construction teams the teachers visited Hitachi Rail (formally Virgin/LNER) depot at Bounds Green where they had an opportunity to meet with Apprentices and their managers as well as receiving a tour of the site. The group also participated in CONEL’s engineering apprenticeship event where they had an opportunity to meet with employers recruiting apprentices as well as prospective apprentices.

The training programme follows an MOU signing between Capital City College Group and Guangdong Construction Polytechnic at Westminster Kingsway College last summer. The institutions intend to continue collaboration and plan to hold an Apprenticeships conference in China in May 2019. Feedback from the training programme was extremely positive with the teachers reporting the visit had been most beneficial and returning to China with plans to implement areas of best practice observed at Guangdong Construction Polytechnic.

On speaking of the programme teachers said: “We speak highly of CCCG’s work and extend our deep gratitude to them for their best efforts. They attached great importance to the training, and the course was well-planned and helpful, including both theoretical and practical teaching, as well as enterprise visits and on-site observation.”

In July 2011 Amani Simpson was stabbed seven times during a frenzied attack by a group of around 20 men in Enfield. Miraculously, Amani – a former pupil of Enfield Grammar School and The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London – survived and has since dedicated himself to speaking in schools and colleges, to try to steer young people away from the violence and danger of knife crime.

Earlier this month, Amani visited CONEL’s Tottenham centre to deliver a powerful session and Q&A to our students. The event also featured a showing of a short film about his stabbing, called Amani, made with his friend, the actor Joivan Wade, which to date has had over 1.6 million views on YouTube.

The talk offered an opportunity for CONEL students to meet Amani and hear his story. It also enabled a free and open discussion about the students’ lives and the challenges that they and their communities face every day.

As Amani told us: “I put my story into a film to empower the conversation about knife crime. I want to extend the film to go into more detail to explain the stories of others and how it effects the wider community.”

When asked about his visit to the college, Amani told us: “It was an honour to come to CONEL. I know a lot of people who went here and are from Tottenham. It is good to give back to the community.”

Anthony Robinson, CONEL’s Quality & Learner Experience Manager said: “Knife crime is constantly in the news and it’s particularly prevalent in London compared to other parts of the country. Young black and minority ethnic teenage boys and men are disproportionately affected by knife crime – as both victims and perpetrators – and Amani’s visit is part of a programme of events partly funded by the Mayor of London’s Young Londoners Fund that we are holding to help divert young people away from criminal activities and support them to make better choices in their lives.”