Career Ready are a charity that offers a combination of group activities and employer engagement opportunities to prepare young people for the world of work. CONEL have worked with Career Ready for seven years, offering students who successfully apply for the programme a mentor who works in the sector they are interested in. The mentors work for household names including Lloyds Banking Group, Santander Bank, HMRC, Pertemps Recruitment, Kaplan Financial and HM Treasury.

Emily, David and Rodjin are second year Level 3 Business Extended Diploma students who achieved top Distinction star grades. They have loved their time at CONEL studying business and reaping the benefits of the Career Ready programme. Here is what the three of them thought about the CONEL and the Career Ready programme so far:

Six-time best-selling author Levison Wood visited the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) on Wednesday 5 February to deliver a talk about his experiences in Asia, Africa and the Americas.

Organised as part of the national Reading Ahead Initiative, and with the help of the Wilbur and Niso Smith Foundation, Levison talked a full lecture theatre through his journey from schoolboy to soldier and entrepreneur to explorer.

The Wilbur and Niso Smith Foundation is a charitable organisation, providing opportunities for young writers and the advancement of the adventure writing genre.

The nationwide Reading Ahead challenge (formerly Six Book Challenge) run by the Reading Agency is designed to encourage adults and young people to read a variety of literature. This is the seventh year that the college has run the challenge and this year, students from all different curriculum areas participated.

The explorer and writer recently signed a two-book deal with publishers Hodder, the first due for release this spring.

“I was always interested in the idea of exploring ‘because it’s there’ – not having to explain yourself but just going,” he told an audience of staff and students. “At 19, my dad took me to a painting exhibition by David Shepherd, who used to paint elephants. I was amazed that somebody would pay for him to travel around the world and paint elephants.

“The next day a careers advisor came to my school and gave me a psychometric employment test. I was told I should be a librarian! So I went to the library and started reading and it just so happened that all my favourite stories were the biographies of explorers – Amelia Earhart, Lawrence of Arabia, etc.”

Levison has brought his story full-circle, now working closely with non-profit organisation Tusk to aid in the conservation efforts of elephants, promoting awareness through talks about his time spent on Safari in Africa.

The author of ‘Walking the Nile’, ‘Walking the Himalayas’ and ‘An Arabian Journey’ told how travel to Thailand, Australia and India had inspired his decision to join the army, seeking the same military experience that united his heroes.

“I took £500 after university and decided to travel to India, hitchhiking and walking. What travelling on foot – rather than by plane or car – forces you to do is interact with people. You’re invited into homes, or in for a cup of tea, and you get to know a bit more about that culture. It reminded me of the goodness of humanity. You see a lot of places in the news that are remembered for the wrong reasons. But it was that sense of hospitality that really stuck with me.”

Experience in the army would lead Levison to carve out a career working in dangerous places, offering unique experiences to western holiday-makers, like skiing in the Kashmir.

Eventually, he would get attention from filmmakers looking to capture the unseen side of warzones. Most recently, Levison has appeared on film in ‘Arabia with Levison Wood’ (2019); ‘From Russia to Iran: Crossing Wild Frontier’ (2017); and ‘Walking the Americas’ (2017).

Students and staff were finally invited to ask their questions about the author’s career, picking up on training regimes and overcoming obstacles.

“When I’m out on an expedition, whenever I’m feeling low or out in the middle of a desert thinking ‘what on earth am I doing here?’ I just remind myself how lucky and privileged I am to be able to do this for a job,” he told us. “Because the alternative is a real job. My main driver is the fact that I’m doing something that people often dream of doing but don’t get the chance to do.”

Levison concluded his talk with a simple message, urging students to go out and “above all, read books!”

‘The Last Giants’ is available for pre-order on Amazon here and is due for release on 2 April 2020.

Proficiency in Maths and English is vital for anyone who wants good qualifications or paid employment. For example, to take A Levels or go to university, you’ll almost certainly need GCSEs in Maths and English. And it’s a requirement for getting practically any job too.

At the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London, we run an annual Maths and English Fortnight where we focus on these key subjects and give learners opportunities to explore them beyond their usual curriculum and acquire new skills. This year’s fortnight ran from 13-24 January 2020 and during it, our Enrichment team held a number of workshops for students.

During an English creative writing session our students got an insight into what creative writing is and how to develop their own creative writing skills. Based on an English language paper that was relevant to their classes, the session encouraged learners to explore their creativity and broke-down step-by-step how to write a story. The students used objects and pictures to tap into their imagination and worked in groups to form ideas.

The maths workshop aimed to teach students the subject through the use of African art and music. The session gave students a different perspective on maths and how they can solve problems by using drums and images to count and create memory prompts for maths methods. The students were very active during the lesson and were encouraged by their tutor throughout.

Organiser and Learner Engagement Officer, Louise Webber, said: “The students were really engaged in all the sessions.

“Maths and English are both such vital skills in day to day life as well as being a requirement when applying for most jobs. During Maths and English fortnight we aim to help our learners develop new skills that they can use throughout the year as they aim to get their qualifications in the summer.”

The Benefits of Having Maths and English Skills

Having a strong grounding in Maths and English is vital for young people in today’s job market. These subjects act as basic filters for employers. Here are four reasons why Maths and English are so important:

  1. Further Study Opportunities
    Many further education and university courses require a good level of Maths and English – regardless of the subject. Typically, Level 2 is the minimum required. Level 2 is equivalent to GCSE grade 4 or higher (old grading system A*-C). 
  2. Employment Opportunities
    Employers want applied and practical maths skills including approximation, mental arithmetic, capability with visual data, a solid grasp of units of measurement, the ability to check their own calculations and simple problem-solving. A major survey of skill levels among adults in work found that, for employers, English skills are of greatest concern, in particular communication skills (listening and speaking) such as good writing, spelling, grammar and vocabulary could be improved.
  3. Income
    Employees who achieve good GCSE grades are likely to be earning at least £2,000 per year more than those who do not. 
  4. Health
    There is even evidence to suggest that people with higher skills in Maths and English have a longer life expectancy.

So, with good English and Maths skills, you can access Higher Education, gain rewarding employment, earn more and potentially live a longer life.

This week is National Apprenticeships Week #NAW2020 (an annual week-long celebration of apprenticeships across England) and, as one of London’s leading apprenticeship providers, delivering over 1250 apprenticeships in 2019, we’re celebrating one of our shining stars, Customer Service Level 2 Apprentice David Brown.

Like all apprentices, David has a job and works in North Middlesex Hospital as a Health Records Assistant. David started his apprenticeship in September 2017 and told us: “It was my manager who found the apprenticeship course on the North Middlesex Hospital Intranet.”

During an apprenticeship, the apprentice usually spends one day each week in the classroom where they study for a qualification, and they do their paid job with their employer the other four days of the week. For David, his one day of learning was at CONEL’s Tottenham Centre, studying for a Customer Service Intermediate Apprenticeship.

David, having worked at the hospital for a number of years, started the apprenticeship to develop new skills that will stay with him forever. When asked what he enjoyed the most about his apprenticeship, David said, “I would say improving on my written and verbal communication skills. This has given me more confidence when talking to patients or colleagues.”

David is the first of our learners to achieve a Distinction on the apprenticeship. He said: “When I heard I was the first to get a Distinction, I felt very proud of myself. It was hard work but it all feels worth it now.”

When asked about the tutors he had throughout his apprenticeship, David said, “For me, my maths and English tutor really helped and encourage me to pass my maths and English exams. My assessor was also very supportive of me, especially concerning my coursework. They really pushed me and helped me to achieve this Distinction.”

Capital City College Training is the training arm of the Capital City College Group that delivers apprenticeships, bringing together the expertise of three of London’s largest and most respected colleges – The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London, Westminster Kingsway College and the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London. Together they provide a workforce equipped for today’s opportunities through apprenticeships, continual professional development (CPD) courses and bespoke training.

Celebrating National Apprenticeships Week

Monday 3 February

The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London will be hosting an Information, Advice and Guidance session from 2pm-5pm at its Tottenham Centre.

Wednesday 5 February

CONEL’s two sister colleges, City & Islington College and Westminster Kingsway College will be hosting Information, Advice and Guidance sessions at the Centre for Business, Arts and Technology from 10am-1pm and the King’s Cross Centre from 11am-2pm.

Friday 7 February

The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London will be hosting an Information, Advice and Guidance Session from 2pm-5pm at its Tottenham Centre.