With the academic year well under way, Year 11 students are now settling into their final year of school and knuckling down ahead of their GCSEs next summer.

Many will also be thinking about their future, and it is important for them to realise that staying on at school sixth form is not the only or always the best option.

Here’s six fantastic reasons why they should choose the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) over school when it comes to taking the next step in their education.

  • A bigger choice of qualifications and pathways – Whether you want to take the academic or technical route to university or employment we have the right course for you. Choose from A Levels, BTEC and City & Guilds diplomas and certificates, apprenticeships with top employers, along with our first T Levels.
  • A huge range of subjects – We offer A Levels with City and Islington College along with courses in accounting and business, IT, creative media, construction, childcare, engineering, hair and beauty, music and performing arts, public services, science and sport.
  • Students are treated like adults – There’s no ‘Yes Sir’ or ‘Yes Miss’ here. Students are often on first name terms with the teachers and given the personal responsibility for getting their work assignments done. Of course, we will still encourage, motivate and support our students to succeed.
  • Make new friends – A chance to widen your social circle and get to know more people. The more you broaden your horizons, the more opportunities that are presented to you in work and life.
  • Industry experienced teachers – Many of our lecturers and tutors have worked in the fields they teach and are able to share first-hand knowledge and experience to give students the professional skills and realistic expectations of their future careers.
  • Fantastic enrichment and support – Students benefit from a more rounded education including trips at home and abroad, talks from industry experts, debates and workshops, competitions, community projects, sports, clubs and societies, careers advice and support with UCAS applications.

DON’T FORGET OUR OPEN DAY

Book your place at our Tottenham and Enfield Centres on Saturday 5 November from 10am to 1pm. Book a place at our Open Day here and apply for our courses and apprenticeships here.

When Tyler Minter became a dad in March last year he was keen to find a career that offered job security for the future. He explains how a Rail Engineering apprenticeship with Alstom and the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) has put him on the right line for a successful career.

Tyler Minter has endured many sleepless nights during his Rail Engineering apprenticeship.

But it’s not understanding the technical training or the thought of assignment deadlines that are keeping him awake, it’s being the proud dad of an 18-month-old baby girl.

Tyler, 24, worked briefly as a machinist for an engineering company after college before enrolling on a BEng (Hons) Aeronautics and Astronautics at university but he left after a year.

For a while he stepped in to help with the family business selling vehicles for a couple of years, during which time his fiancée Nicole became pregnant. But a week before their daughter Elsie-Rose was born in March 2021 a change in his family’s circumstances meant Tyler was forced to find a new job.

Keen to find a career that would provide a stable future for his family, Tyler began to look at apprenticeships.

“I wanted something with career progression, something that was especially important knowing I was going to become a dad,” said Tyler, who lives with his family in Stondon Massey near Brentwood, Essex.

“I found Alstom and started the long process to get in. I had lots of interviews and tests and was delighted when I was successful and got taken on to do a rail engineering apprenticeship.”

Elsie-Rose was born in March 2021 and three months later Tyler started his Rail Engineering Level 3 Apprenticeship with Alstom and the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL).

Alstom is a global rail engineering company that constructs and undertakes maintenance of trains, signalling and other rail infrastructure, and employs 75,000 people.

Tyler’s apprenticeship initially involved nine months of training at CONEL with a salary of £20,000 a year before spending four days a week at a rail depot and one day at college.

Tyler has just started his second year and is now a huge advocate of apprenticeships and the benefits they offer to those looking for a career.

“I love the fact that I’m learning while also getting hands on experience,” he said.

“I’m gaining knowledge that is vital to the job and also putting it to use in a practical sense. I’m also not getting into debt like a lot of people who go to university do, and I’m earning a good salary.”

Undoubtedly, juggling the demands of having a young child and studying has its challenges at times and Tyler has been grateful for the support and encouragement he has received from his tutors.

“When Elsie-Rose needed to go to hospital in April, I called the college and work and explained the situation and they were fantastic. They extended the deadline for my work allowing me more time to complete it.”

Tyler’s apprenticeship offered a guaranteed job on successful completion of his training, which has given him an added incentive to do well.

“As a dad having job security and a future career is a huge draw and is one of the reasons I picked an apprenticeship. We’re also eligible for a pension and private healthcare, things that really matter when you’ve got a family.”

Tyler’s achievements earned him an Excellence Award from Capital City College Group (CCCG), which includes CONEL, along with City and Islington College, Westminster Kingsway College and Capital City College Training.

The UK rail industry is facing a massive skills shortage. In 2020, City & Guilds and the National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR), revealed 120,000 new workers were needed by the end of the decade.

Find out more about our Rail Engineering apprenticeships here.

Mariana Ghertan caught COVID twice and tragically lost her mother and grandfather during her Healthcare apprenticeship. Here she shares how with the support of her tutor and family she successfully completed her training is now looking to fulfil her dream of becoming a nurse.

Juggling two jobs, one as a cleaner and another as a receptionist, as well as being a mother of two boys meant that life was busy for Mariana Ghertan.

Deep down she had always loved looking after people and had a passion to build a career that involved helping others. When her husband encouraged her to follow her dreams and do a healthcare apprenticeship, she was initially sceptical.

“I’m from Romania and hadn’t completed any further education after finishing school,” said Mariana, 36, who lives with her family in Enfield.

“I moved to the UK 17 years ago, and as English isn’t my first language I was worried that would impact my ability to do a course or apprenticeship. I was scared of change but my husband pushed me to follow my dreams and encouraged me to go for it.”

Mariana enrolled on a Healthcare Support Worker Level 3 Apprenticeship at North Middlesex University Hospital with Capital City College Training (CCCT) in March 2020 having gained her Level 2 while working at Person Centred Day Opportunities in Enfield.

Apprenticeships are paid jobs that are available to all ages and involve four days at work and one day of study towards a recognised qualification, which Mariana undertook at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL).

“I started just before lockdown and so I only had a couple of days of study at CONEL before it changed to home study, and on the other days I was working in the hospital caring for people, which I loved,” she said.

However, Mariana faced significant setbacks during her apprenticeship including contracting COVID twice and losing her grandfather who had brought her up with her mother in Romania.

“The first time I had COVID was over the Christmas period before the vaccinations. My grandad also died of old age while I was recovering and my husband lost a cousin due to COVID, and we were unable to attend their funerals because of lockdown,” she said.

“My breathing was very bad and my family were all very worried. I shut myself away in the bedroom in order to protect my husband and sons. It was an extremely difficult time, which resulted in me taking four weeks off my studies.”

Mariana caught COVID again nearly a year later, which resulted in her missing another three weeks. And on top of that her mother was tragically killed in a car crash aged just 59.

‘I received the phone call to tell me about my mum just before my exams. I was completely broken and told my tutor that I was going to quit the course and leave work,” said Mariana.

“However, my tutor was the most incredible support. She encouraged me not to give up and offered me more time. I spoke to my husband and sons who had seen how much hard work I had put in. They said that my mum was proud of me and would have wanted me to finish, so I did.

“Working in a hospital would not have been possible for me without an apprenticeship. If it wasn’t for the amazing support of my tutor, my husband and my sons, I would never have stuck at it.”

Mariana took some time off after completing her apprenticeship to help with family arrangements back in Romania and now hopes to train to become a nurse.

‘My Level 3 qualification has provided me with enough UCAS points to do nursing,” she said.

“I feel very fortunate to have been given the support to follow my dreams.”

Mariana’s achievements earned her an Excellence Award from Capital City College Group (CCCG), which includes CCCT and CONEL along with City and Islington College and Westminster Kingsway College.

According to the Health Foundation, 314,000 more full-time equivalent NHS staff will be needed over and above existing vacancies in England by 2030/31. Find out more about our Healthcare and Social Care apprenticeships here.

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