Father of three Tim Mansfield, 38, from Woodford, north London, returned to college in March 2019 having been concerned about the future of the printing industry.
He initially enrolled on a free Plumbing for Beginners short course and is set to complete a Plumbing Level 2 Diploma at CONEL this summer.
The diploma was also free – CONEL is London’s First FREE College, and all courses from Entry Level to Level 2 are free to students, regardless of their age or income.
Tim said: “I’ve spent 22 years in printing and the demand for paper-based products has been decreasing. I was concerned about my job situation, and thought it was time to make the jump.
“CONEL’s free short courses were exactly what I needed. They gave me the opportunity to try different trades without having to overcommit until I knew what I wanted to pursue more seriously. If they hadn’t been free, I’m not sure I would have taken the chance.
“The teachers are well-qualified and approachable, and always on hand with advice and support. I’ve made some great friends at CONEL and learnt some great skills that I fully intend build upon in my future career. I’m excited about starting a new chapter.”
CONEL has been offering free short courses for more than two years with many students going on to study at higher levels to get the skills they need for further study or employment.
Courses are available in accounting, business, construction, hairdressing, beauty therapy, healthcare, childcare, English, maths, IT, engineering, hospitality, culinary arts, science and sport.
All courses at CONEL are available through online distance learning during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Paul Oatham, Curriculum Manager for Construction, said: “The free short plumbing courses have proved very popular with those looking at new careers, or just wanting to learn a new skill that can help them with jobs around the house.
“Tim is one of the many success stories that we have had. He applied himself well during his studies and I wish him all the best in his plumbing career.”