Young sports stars at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) are celebrating after qualifying for the Association of Colleges Sport National Championships.

Teams from the college’s Basketball Academy and Netball Academy will represent the capital after winning in the regional finals at Redbridge Sports Centre in Ilford on 8 December.

The basketball team won all their opening round matches to reach the knockout stages and beat Newham College in the final, while the netball team beat all teams in their competition.

Both teams are now preparing for the national tournament at the University of Nottingham in April under the training and guidance of their coaches AJ Roberts and Yamini Bist.

CONEL’s Basketball Academy and Netball Academy, along with the Football Academy, Martial Arts Academy, Athletics Academy and Esports Academy are based at the college’s Enfield Centre.

The academies are open to all students aged 16-18 at the college and include professional coaching, personal fitness, physiotherapy, nutrition and tactical analysis.

Jonathan Silman, Head of School for Sport, Public Services and KS4, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for our Basketball and Netball Academies. The teams and their coaches have worked exceptionally hard and shown great commitment to develop and improve their skills and performance, which has resulted in them qualifying for the National Championships.

“Our Sports Academies at CONEL continue to go from strength to strength and I am hugely proud that the college will be representing London. The basketball and netball teams and their coaches should be proud of what they have accomplished in their sports, especially the team from the Netball Academy, which only started up at the college recently.

“The National Finals will be an even bigger challenge, but if they continue to apply themselves and show the same dedication then they will give themselves every chance of success.”

The AoC Sport National Championships has been running for more than 40 years and is one of the UK’s largest student sporting events with nearly 1,800 students taking part each year.

Ten regional tournaments are held across England and Wales during the autumn term with the top teams in 13 sports qualifying for the National Championships.

Students compete in boccia, badminton, basketball, cross-country running, football, disability football, hockey, indoor cricket, netball, rugby, table tennis, tennis and volleyball.

CONEL’s sports facilities include a floodlit 3G football pitch, grass pitches, sports centre with sports hall, fully equipped gym and changing rooms, which are also available for hire.

Find out more about CONEL’s Sports Academies here.

One of the UK’s most influential women in Engineering and Construction has praised the high standard of teaching after studying with Capital City College Group (CCCG). 

Phebe Mann, who is Chair of the Institution of Civil Engineers London for 2022-23, achieved an overall Distinction on a Plumbing Level 2 Diploma at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London. She also took a short course in Home Repair and Maintenance for Women at Westminster Kingsway College. 

Phebe studied both courses having already established an illustrious engineering and legal career spanning more than three decades and gaining a PhD and four Master’s Degrees. 

She is a chartered engineer, chartered surveyor, chartered construction manager and a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. She was named in the Women in Engineering Society’s Top 50 Women in Engineering 2018.  

She has a PhD Collaborative Design, MSc Bridge Engineering, MSc Construction Management, MA (Cantab) Computer Science, LLM Construction Law and is a qualified barrister. 

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Engineering at CONEL

Engineering offers a variety of career prospects in some of today’s most exciting and dynamic industries, from mechanical, chemical, civil to electrical. Our engineering courses are amongst the best in the country, with many of our students excelling on work placements, progressing to university and realising their career aspirations.
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Phebe has worked as a Specialist Judge for the Upper Tribunal and General Regulatory Chamber and has completed engineering projects for Westminster City Council and Cambridge County Council, as well as being a Senior Lecturer at the University of Westminster, University of Reading, University of East London and Open University. 

Phebe decided to enrol on both courses to develop her practical construction skills and increase her awareness of the trades to enable her to better address a national shortage of workers in the UK. 

She said: “The students were very enthusiastic in their learning. The lecturers were excellent and devoted to sharing the skills of their professions and we learnt a great deal from the exercises and the feedback they gave us. They also provided high-quality videos of each topic, which we could view repeatedly until we understood the requirements of the course.  

“My lecturer for the plumbing practical class was very patient and empathetic to his students as he explained the steps we needed to take and the health and safety requirements for each task. He had a genuine understanding of his students and adapted his teaching to meet their individual needs.” 

Phebe is passionate about encouraging and inspiring more women to follow in her footsteps and pursue engineering and construction careers. 

She said: “Girls tend to do better than boys in GCSE and A Level results including science, mathematics and computing. These are all important skills for engineers and construction. Women excel in skills such as good communication, innovation, creativity and analysis. They should not be intimidated by working in a male-dominated industry.” 

According to the Engineering UK and there is a shortfall of 173,000 workers in the STEM sector, while the Construction Skills Network says 266,000 new workers are needed by 2026  

“If you are passionate about engineering, discover your potentials, seek opportunities, equip yourself, develop a positive learning attitude and be determined to be successful,” said Phebe. 

“Don’t be discouraged by failures. Every success is built on many failures. Don’t give up if you believe you can do it.” 

Apply now for Engineering courses here and Construction courses here

Capital City College Group (CCCG) will be offering T Levels across its three colleges from September 2023.

Five T Levels will be available at City and Islington College (CANDI), The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) and Westminster Kingsway College (WestKing)

What are T Levels?

T Levels are two-year technical courses taken as an alternative to A Levels, apprenticeships and other 16-19 courses.

A T Level is equivalent to three A levels and comprises a core component and an occupational specialism to give students skills for employment, higher education or apprenticeships.

Students spend 80 per cent of the course at college gaining the skills that employers need. The remaining 20 per cent is on industry placement where they put these skills into action.

They will spend at least 45 days in industry placements to enable them to gain valuable experience in the workplace and give employers an early sight of new talent in their industry.

Why choose a T Level

T Levels have been designed with leading employers and awarding bodies to give students the skills, knowledge and experience they need. More than 250 employers have been involved in their development to give students confidence they will take them to the next level.

What T Levels will be available?

The first T Level courses available at CCCG colleges are listed below with more expected to be added over coming months.

T LEVELOCCUPATIONAL SPECIALISMCOLLEGECENTRE
Digital Production, Design and DevelopmentDigital Production, Design and DevelopmentCANDICentre for Business, Arts and Technology (including Health, Social and Childcare)
Digital Production, Design and DevelopmentDigital Production, Design and DevelopmentWestKingKing’s Cross Centre
Digital Support ServicesDigital SupportCANDICentre for Business, Arts and Technology (including Health, Social and Childcare)
Digital Support ServicesDigital SupportWestKingKing’s Cross Centre
Education and ChildcareEarly Years EducatorCANDICentre for Business, Arts and Technology (including Health, Social and Childcare)
Education and ChildcareEarly Years EducatorCONELTottenham Centre
HealthSupporting the Adult Nursing TeamWestKingKing’s Cross Centre
HealthSupporting the Adult Nursing TeamCONELTottenham Centre
HealthSupporting the Mental Health TeamWestKingKing’s Cross Centre
HealthSupporting the Mental Health TeamCONELTottenham Centre
ScienceLaboratory SciencesCANDICentre for Applied Science

Entry requirements

Entry requirements are the same as for A Levels and many other Level 3 courses, which require five GCSEs at grades 9-4 including English and maths. At least a grade 4 in GCSE Science is also required for science and health related T Levels. 

Grading and certification

Students completing their T Level will receive a certificate which will show their overall grade shown as Pass, Merit, Distinction or Distinction*. 

The certificate will show A*-E grades for the core component, and Pass, Merit, Distinction or Distinction* for the occupational specialism. It will also confirm they have completed the industry placement and met any other mandatory requirements

Students who do not pass all elements of their T Level will get a T Level statement of achievement that will only show the elements they have completed.

Find our more information about T Levels at CCCG and apply here.

Capital City College Training (CCCT) and the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) have been highly commended in three Women into Construction awards.

Both education providers were named runners up in the Partners with Purpose Award, for their work running a five-week programme to help women find on and offsite jobs in the industry.

Jasmine Anthony, 39, from Islington, who undertook the Women into Construction programme with CCCT in August 2020 was also highly commended in the Women’s Champion of the Year Award.

Rutuba Zala, Delivery Manager for Adult Education, and Shiv Emmimath, Head of Employability and Trade Union Education, collected the awards on behalf of CCCT and CONEL respectively.

Rutuba said: “We always look to go the extra mile to help people realise their dreams regardless of their background, race or gender. Women into Construction is a perfect example of this, which has helped give many women the opportunity to enter the industry and start new careers.

“This programme enables women, who otherwise would not get the opportunity, to pursue and acquire skill that  set them up for success in an industry where women are still under-represented.

“Women make up just 11 per cent of the construction workforce in the UK, but this number is only set to rise with more women gaining the skills they need to progress in the industry.

“CCCT is a very proud partner of Women into Construction, to help bring about this change.”

Shiv added: “We’re delighted to be highly commended by Women into Construction. At CONEL we’re committed to working with developers and contractors to support women from our communities to get the skills and support they need and help change the face of construction by getting more women into the sector.

“The programmes we’ve delivered for Women into Construction are a fantastic way to help improve women’s job prospects and for employers to find new workers with each programme, aligned to actual job vacancies.

“Women on these programmes are fully supported with skills training and given the opportunity to spend valuable work experience on sites with different employers with a range of vacancies.

“In this way, we have been able to shape our programmes to deliver a positive impact on women going into this sector. We’re very pleased to be recognised for the work we have done.”

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Construction and Plumbing at CONEL

Build your career in the construction industry with our Construction and Plumbing courses. All of these courses are taught in our well-equipped construction workshops, providing you with a bespoke training environment so you can develop a love of practical, hands-on work and acquire specialist skills. 
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The Women into Construction programme includes 15 days’ work-focused training followed by two weeks’ work experience.

This includes five days’ construction-related training leading to a Level 1 Health and Safety Level 1 Diploma and a CSCS card test which they need to pass to work on site. The women also receive support with overcoming barriers to employment, writing CVs and interview skills.

Jasmine began working as an electrician for BW Electrical Contractors after impressing on her placement at a 1,000-home development in Bromley-by-Bow being built by Henry Construction.

At the time, she said: “Working as an electrician was always something I had a passion to do, but I never saw it through until now. I didn’t think I would be able to do it, but the programme gave me the confidence I needed. When I was told I’d got a job, I couldn’t stop smiling. I didn’t think it would happen so quicky.”

Jasmine added that she had been “treated with a lot of respect” by her male colleagues and urged women not to hold back and to join the programme.

The awards were presented at Women into Construction’s Celebration Event attended by 200 guests at Carpenters’ Hall in the City on 15 June.

Women into Construction has now supported more than 1,000 women into jobs.

Find out more about the Women into Construction here.

Aspiring accountants gained an invaluable insight into the career of the President of the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) and the benefits of joining the industry body.

Heather Hill shared her experience of working in the sector and her role at AAT with students and apprentices at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL).

AAT is the leading professional membership body for accounting technicians with 125,000 members and students worldwide. AAT is also an awarding organisation that is recognised globally as being the gold standard for anyone wanting to gain technical accounting skills.

Heather studied for BTEC National Certificate in Business and Finance and then an AAT Level 4 qualification while working in local government finance, which allowed her to gain full AAT membership.

She said: “It wasn’t easy at times. I was grateful for the support of my tutors who dedicated their time and effort to ensure I understood and learned the syllabus, as I know your tutors do for you.”

Heather later moved to Wiltshire and set up her own accountancy practice, which she ran for 24 years providing services to sole traders, companies, partnerships, charities and other organisations.

During this time, she studied for her Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT) qualifications to expand the services she could offer her clients.

Heather, who has been a member of the AAT for more than 30 years, joined her local branch of the association and is now a Fellow member of both the AAT and ATT.

Joining the AAT branch gave her the opportunity to network, share experiences and gain experience from other like-minded professionals while continuing to develop her skills.

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Accounting and Bookkeeping at CONEL

Our Accounting and Bookkeeping (AAT) courses offer routes into employment, higher education or an apprenticeship within the finance sector.
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“Branch meetings provide opportunities to learn about other areas you may want to specialise in and to receive valuable continuing professional development to update our existing knowledge and skills. They also enable you to receive support from others who have already developed their careers further, such as attaining chartered accountant status,” she said.

Heather, who was previously chair of the Swindon branch, joined AAT Council in 2016, and is now Chair of the Council and is a member of the Management Board, Nominations and Governance Board and Remuneration Board. She was elected Vice President of AAT in September 2020 and became President of AAT a year later.

She said: “AAT is working hard to create an inclusive community, to help people to get a start in our great profession, and to then support them throughout their career. I hope you will progress your studies and become a member of AAT.

“AAT is not just a valuable qualification, it is a community of people who support one another and who share the same ethos.”

Wishing students and apprentices good luck with their studies, Heather added: “Don’t regard setbacks as failures, they are all learning opportunities and building blocks to a better future.  Believe in yourself and you will achieve your goals.”

Business students capitalise on private equity firm Primera visit

Business students at CONEL invested in their future when they visited global private equity firm Primera.

The group, who are studying for a Business Level 3 Diploma, were given an insight into business and investment at the company’s UK office in Pall Mall.

They heard about the growth of the private equity market, how Primera operates, the markets it invests in and how it makes decisions on acquisitions, while also learning about fund management and investor relations.

The students also took part in a practical workshop where they had to look at the performance of three different businesses and decide which company to buy.

Employees at the company then shared their career journeys and took questions from the students on career choices and gave them advice and guidance.

The visit was arranged by Career Ready, a charity which works with educators and employers to prepare young people for work and help them fulfil their potential.

Kareen Lawrence, Regional Account Manager at AAT, also shared more about how becoming an AAT member demonstrates a commitment to exceptionally high standards and ethics in accounting, as well as CPD opportunities available for AAT qualified bookkeepers and members.

This included using the AAT’s Knowledge Hub to keep updated on the sector including articles, podcasts and webinars, as well as it’s e-learning platform, employability advice and other events.

Riccardo Maserati, 22, and Leah Hughes, 23, have both completed an Accounting Level 3 Apprenticeship with CONEL this year and are looking to continue their studies.

Riccardo, who is taking his apprenticeship with The Scout Association, said: “I enjoy the managerial side of accounting like how to make more profit and how to cut your cost them kind of things. After my level three I will look to do my ACCA to try and get involved more in manager accounting but apart from that I’m quite open with my future.

“Meeting and hearing from a senior face behind the AAT was really inspiring. I’m going to use the AAT website a bit more to my advantage for my next exams.”

Leah, who is training at recruitment firm NP Group, said: “I learnt a lot more about the AAT’s networking events and the resources on their website, which will help with my further studies and to eventually become a chartered accountant.

“I started my apprenticeship because I needed to work. It was the perfect opportunity to earn money and get a qualification. The college helped prepare me for my interview and I’ve really liked the teachers I’ve had. They take the time to explain everything really well and are always there if I needed any advice.”

CONEL’s Accounting courses and apprenticeships from Levels 2-4 including a 14-week AAT Level 2 Pre-apprenticeship that leads to a full AAT Level 3 Apprenticeship, with apprentices spending four days a week training in a paid job and one day studying.

Jacqueline Dyett, Head of School for Business, Accounting and Travel and Tourism, said: “It was wonderful having Heather visit CONEL and talk to our students and apprentices. It gave them the chance to put a face to the qualification they are studying and hear about Heather’s inspiring journey from similar beginnings to where she is now, as well as hearing about the benefits of the AAT.

“It was a good opportunity for them to realise the significance of the AAT and what lies ahead for them along with giving them that added impetus to keep going as the qualifications get tougher and to get into their future careers.”

If you are good with numbers and problem-solving, a career in accounting could be for you. At CONEL we work with top employers to give you the skills and experience needed to work in this huge sector. Apply for courses here and apprenticeships here.

More than 160 college students, including many whose first language is not English, have successfully achieved this year’s Reading Ahead challenge.

Certificates were presented to students of the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) who completed the challenge set by the Reading Agency to read and review six books.

The Reading Ahead challenge is run through colleges, learning providers, libraries, workplaces and prisons, and reaches around 30,000 people each year. It’s run by the Reading Agency, a national charity that promotes the benefits of reading to children and adults.

Most of the students who took part are studying English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses, while others have been improving their literacy skills on Functional Skills in English courses.

All students who participated were entered into a prize draw to win one of five £25 Tesco vouchers, which were won by Gul Akarcorten, Zaid Emueru, Valentina Vasquez Soto, Gunel Yukselir and Lisa Zangari.

Assistant Principal Hilary Moore presented certificates and prizes to the students at the college’s Learning Resource Centre, whose staff organise the programme each year at CONEL.

Pavla Jonasova, Curriculum Manager for ESOL, said: “Reading Ahead is a great initiative to encourage ESOL learners to read. Many read with their children, and some develop a real passion for reading.

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English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) at CONEL

Enhance your English grammar and vocabulary for work, study and home life by studying an English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) course at CONEL.
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“Our students read a variety of books and sometimes listen to a CD that accompanies the books, so they can hear the correct pronunciation as well as developing their vocabulary and spelling.  Reading is also very good for mental health and students’ wellbeing as it builds their confidence. 

“Each year we encourage all our students to participate and each year we see an increase in the number of students who complete it”.

If English is not your first language, our ESOL courses are ideal for you. We’ll help you learn how to read, write and speak English to improve your education or help you get a job. Apply here.

Students had the chance to question a TV news producer and reporter about careers in broadcast journalism when she visited the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL).

Michelle Gooden-Jones from Al Jazeera English shared her experience and advice at the college’s Creative, Computing and Media End of Year Show.

Michelle, who has also reported for US media including NBC News, explained how she studied TV journalism at university and did an internship at Al Jazeera, aided by a friend’s mum who was a presenter and introduced her to an executive producer.

She said: “You need to study media or journalism, but you also do need to get yourself out there and telling stories. It’s also about connections as well, so network and make sure people know that you’re interested in working in the industry because then they’re more likely to help you.”

Al Jazeera’s main headquarters are in Doha, Qatar, with Al Jazeera English located at The Shard. The channel broadcasts to 80 million homes in 100 countries and its reporters come from all over the world.

Michelle admitted it can be harder for under-represented groups to find work in the industry but with the right mentors and determination it was possible to succeed.

“As long as you go in there and you’re confident in yourself and you have stories and you do the work, there’s nothing stopping any of you from achieving in news,” she said.

The End of Year Show celebrated the work created by students across the college’s Creative Media, Computing and Music courses, and saw this year’s best performing students presented with mini-Oscar statuettes and certificates of achievement.

CONEL invests in new £30k music recording studio

Students on Music courses at CONEL will be able record and mix their own tracks in a new £30,000 recording studio at the college’s Tottenham Centre this September.

The studio is kitted out with leading industry-standard equipment and features a live recording area, control room, microphones, mixers, synthesizers and digital software.

CONEL runs Music Performance and Production courses from Level 1-3 led by lecturers who have many years’ experience working in the music industry.

Our teachers have worked for major music companies alongside top artistes, been influential on the club scene and recorded music for TV series.

Apply now to start composing and recording your own tracks on one of our music courses.

Creative Media Level 1 Diploma student Daniela-Elena Moise, 19, was presented with this year’s award for Best Photographer.

She said: “I’ve enjoyed everything about the course. I’ve taken photos, learnt how to do a promotion and make a documentary, and created layouts for magazines and leaflets. My teachers have been amazing, I’ve never had teachers like this. They’ve really helped me and have made it a lot of fun in class.”

The show featured showreels of students’ work during their studies featuring clips of film trailers, short films and music videos as well as video games, 2D and 3D animations and graphic design.

Toan Phan, Curriculum Manager Computing Creative and Media, inspired students at the show when he shared how he came to the UK as a Vietnamese refugee but later graduated from university despite being dyslexic, before working as a web designer and a teacher at CONEL.

IT Diploma students Mario Busato and Alex Gomeniuk spoke about a project they worked on with an actual client to design a website called Key London Walks providing information on walking tours around north London.

There was also an esports competition where students played computer games against each other with the chance to win a £30 Amazon voucher, which was won by Creative Media Production student Glen Miguel.

Students also posed for photos against a VIP backdrop with various props including a picture frame and silly disguises as a memento of their time at college.

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ICT and Computing courses at CONEL

Computing and IT is at the cutting edge of digital communication technology, working to produce innovative and creative projects in every aspect of our lives. There are exciting possibilities in this sector including software development, programming, digital design, virtual reality and more.
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Laila Hassanzadeh, Head of School for Computing, Creative and Media, said: “This academic year students have produced some amazing pieces of work, which has been reflected in their high achievement rates this year.

“The End of Year Show was a wonderful way to showcase their work and celebrate the successes of all our wonderful students.”

If you’re looking to get into the media or IT, CONEL’s courses will give you the knowhow to work in these fast-growing and exciting industries. Apply now for Digital Media and Creative Computing courses here and ICT and Computing courses here.

The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) has teamed up with Building Heroes to offer free construction training to former members of the Armed Forces.

Since April, 22 ex-military personnel have completed a five-week course with the college in partnership with the charity and construction giant Regal London.

Building Heroes was established in 2014 and works with the education sector and employers to provide construction skills training and employment support for service leavers, veterans, reservists and their families.

CONEL is providing onsite training for a Construction Skills Level 1 Diploma an a Health and Safety Level 1 Diploma along with training to gain a CSCS card, which they need to be able to work on building sites.

Training is taking place at a Regal London construction site in Clarendon Road, Watford, where a new 25-floor residential development comprising 168 homes is being built.

The first two groups completed their training in May and July, with a third group expected to start in September.

Ade Jerry, 40, joined the Army in 2004 and served for 10 years but left on medical grounds, which included severe post-traumatic stress disorder.

“I wanted the opportunity to learn new skills and better myself in life. I received full support from the Building Heroes team, which really helped me in finding a new direction,” he said.

“The tutor was fantastic and provided me support in both the theoretical and practical side of the course. The academy provided me some experience working on site and a fresh perspective.

“Both Building Heroes and CONEL helped me with any difficulties I had and helped me create a different perspective within myself. It has left me feeling positive about the future.”

Ross Gordon, 21, left the Army after deciding it was not the right career for him. He turned to Building Heroes having gained some construction experience during his service, building the first NHS Nightingale Hospital during the pandemic.

He said: “The course content enabled me to practice different skills and work out what areas I liked/didn’t. It pushed me in the right direction. I couldn’t have asked for a better tutor and felt fully supported throughout the duration of the course.

“I enjoyed the variation of the course content and the extra extended projects. We were able to see other sites and get some perspective of all the trades we were learning about.”

Both Ade and Ross have both gained contract work with Regal London and are looking at other courses to advance their skills and careers.

Last month, to mark Armed Forces Week from 20-25 June, the most recent group won a Construct a Cake competition, set by Building Heroes, to make a cake out of building materials.

Gary Lee, Curriculum Manager for Construction, Plumbing and Electrical at CONEL, said: “Our Armed Forces do so much for our country, and we felt it only right that we give something back to those who have served in conflict or more recently assisted and provided support during the pandemic.

“Regardless of their starting point and the challenges they have faced, all the ex-services personnel who have signed up have all shared a military attitude and determination to achieve.”

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Construction courses at CONEL

Our vocational courses in Construction, Plumbing and Electrical Installation will give you the skills
you need to work in these booming industries.
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According to Building Heroes, 15,000 people leave the Armed Forces each year, with the percentage of working age veterans expected to increase from 37 per cent in 2016 to 44 per cent in 2028.

The Construction Industry Training board (CITB) has reported 217,000 new workers are needed in the construction industry by 2025 to meet the demand for new housing in the UK.

Brendan Williams, CEO and founder of Building Heroes, said: “Building Heroes is excited to be working with CONEL at our new Regal London onsite training academy in Watford. 

“The college’s flexibility in finding a way to support us and the quality of leadership and tuition has been exceptional, and we’ve received excellent feedback from our first cohort of learners. 

“We look forward to continuing this relationship and looking for innovative and exciting ways to extend this partnership.”

If you are a former member of the Armed Forces interested in how Building Heroes can help you get the skills for a career in construction, you can find out more here.

CONEL also runs Construction courses in brickwork, carpentry, plumbing and electrical installations at its centres in Tottenham and Enfield, and has partnered with leading industry employer Ardmore on the London Welding Academy in Enfield. Find out more and apply here.

An accountant who trained at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) has revealed why she has consistently looked to the college when recruiting new employees.

Ela Rygala, 33, works as a Management Accountant at Serve Legal, a market leading provider of ID and compliance testing in the UK and Ireland, based at Millbank Tower in Westminster.

She started as a part-time Accounts Assistant, which later changed to the role of Accounts Data Assistant, while studying for her AAT Accounting qualifications from 2012-16.

Ela, who has a degree in accounting and finance from her native Poland, passed her AAT Accounting Diplomas at Levels 2-4 and was promoted to Management Accountant in 2020.

“I thought an AAT course would be perfect for me to adjust to how English tax law and regulations work and also get more confident in the English language,” said Ela, who also took GCSEs in Maths and English at CONEL and attained grades A* and B.

“Very quickly, I got to know CONEL was a good choice. What I really valued was that the teachers gave us room for self-development and to ask questions about how and why tasks are done in a particular way. They encouraged you to read at home and come prepared for lessons rather than assuming everything will be taught on the course.”

In 2017 Ela employed CONEL student Tia Esprit-Cooper part-time to enable her to complete her AAT qualifications at Levels 2-4, and last year she recruited Ronny Houillet who has recently completed a Level 2 Pre-apprenticeship at the college.

“I know from my own experience that CONEL has great tutors who are producing great accounting talent, so when it came to recruiting for our finance team my first suggestion to my manager was CONEL, to see if they can recommend a good student.”

Tia, 25, from Waltham Forest, initially trained in events management and hairdressing before finding her vocation in accounting. She now works full-time for Serve Legal and was promoted to Bookkeeper and Credit Control Manager last year.

“CONEL recommended me and another student for the role at Serve Legal and sent over my CV. I was invited to an interview and a trial day and they offered me the job,” she said.

“My previous paths had been quite creative and were more like hobbies, and I came to a point where I was looking for a career and something that had more longevity.

“I didn’t have any experience, but because I’d been recommended by the college there was a bit more comfortability there. It gave me confidence knowing they thought I was good enough to be put forward for this role.

“I did wonder whether I could see myself doing it long-term, but now I honestly can’t imagine myself doing anything else.”

Ronny, 24, from Enfield, who previously worked as a Data Analyst, has now opted to study for an AAT Accounting Level 3 Diploma while working part-time at the firm rather than an apprenticeship.

“I wanted to go to university to study economics but changed my mind and went straight into work but wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do. I always wanted to do something with numbers and last year I made a plan to go down the accounting route,” he said.

“Accounting can open up a lot of opportunities and I’m excited about where it’s going to take me. There are a lot of skills I’ve been able to bring over from my previous experience, such as making numbers match, paying attention to detail and spotting errors. Every business needs an accountant, so you can work almost anywhere.”

Ela knew she wanted to work in accountancy from a young age and is quick to dispel the myth that it is quite a dry and uninspiring career.

She said: “I enjoy everything about accounting. It gives you a lot of satisfaction when all the reports and reconciliations are done and everything is balanced at the end of the month. Often we’ll look closely at clients’ margins, what is driving them and make recommendations to improve them.

“There are many different areas of accountancy from very broad skills like bookkeeping to more detailed auditing or focused project work. There is room for people with many talents in accountancy, even people who are not that good with numbers but have good analytical skills.

“It might be perceived as a bit dry but there is some charm in routine, and with the ways different companies operate there’s great potential to master different skills.

“I see nothing boring in my job. It can be difficult sometimes, but it is definitely far from boring.”

Apply now for Accounting courses and apprenticeships.

A student with autism at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) has shared his excitement at getting a place at university this September.

Chinwoke Edeh, 24, from Tottenham, has an offer to study a Foundation Degree in Media at Middlesex University when he completes his Creative Media Production Level 3 Diploma.

He said: “I’m really excited to be going to university and looking forward to the foundation course in media. It will give me even more independence and improve me as a person as well. I’m very proud of myself and happy with the progress I’m making towards my future career.”

Chinwoke experiences daily challenges with language and communication, literacy and numeracy, but has made huge progress and grown significantly in confidence since he started at CONEL in 2017.

“Sometimes when I’m asked to do things for the first time, I have to write it down step-by-step in order, so I get the hang of doing it. The college has really helped me complete the tasks to the best of my ability,” he said.

Chinwoke has completed Media diplomas at Levels 1-2, having previously been part of the college’s Supported Learning provision for young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). During this time, he also studied English and maths courses to help him gain independence and work skills.

“I’ve always been very creative, firstly with pictures and then I got interested how to use Adobe. I like it because you get to express yourself and bring out your ideas and personality,” he said.

“The teaching I have had at college has been excellent. The teachers were really supportive and helped me with any areas I needed to improve. They were always around when I needed them.”

Over the past two years Chinwoke has been supported by Additional Learning Support Assistant Sandra Fox, who is also neurodivergent with dyspraxia and dyslexia.

She said: “Since I’ve been working with Chinwoke, he’s excelled to the extent he is now at Level 3 and done amazingly well at college to get a place at university.

“He will still need help, but each year he’s been moving away from support and working more independently. To go from SEND to mainstream is incredible. It’s been a remarkable journey and I’m so proud of him, but most importantly he is proud of himself.”

Tamara Lesniewska, Curriculum Manager for Creative and Digital Media, was also in awe of Chinwoke’s accomplishments during his time at CONEL.

She said: “Chinwoke is a really wonderful student to teach. I’m immensely proud of him and the high standard and quality of work he has produced at college. What he has achieved from when he started to where he is now with a university offer, is nothing short of fantastic.”

CONEL is committed to providing adjustments to ensure that everyone can succeed with us.  If you, or your or your child,  has a learning disability, we will provide an exceptional learning experience, understand that your needs are unique andl provide support that is most appropriate for you.

Find out more about CONEL’s Supported Learning provision here and how to apply for Creative Media Production courses here.

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