The rising cost of living is having a huge impact on us all.

With energy bills and prices soaring, education is the last thing that you may be thinking of investing in. But with FREE courses on offer at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL), now could be the right time to boost your future career prospects.

We know that that cost is one of the main barriers for adults wanting to learn new skills, which is why took the decision to offer FREE courses regardless of age or income.

Our courses are FREE up to Level 2, equivalent to GCSE, and some at Level 3, equating to A Level study. We also offer a fantastic range of FREE short courses throughout the year.

We run courses at our Tottenham and Enfield Centres in Accounting, Business, Childcare, Construction, Creative Media, Engineering, Hairdressing, Beauty Therapy, Health and Social Care, IT, Music, Public Services, Science, Teacher Education, and Travel and Tourism.

If you don’t have GCSEs in English or maths you can study them too alongside your course.

It may surprise you to learn that most of our students are not school leavers, but adults aged 19 or over, many of whom have gone on to university and great careers.

Where there is a cost attached to your course, we offer flexible payment options, bursaries, support with applying for student loans and advice on funding to help with childcare.

CONEL cost of living

Tim Mansfield, 41, from Woodford, who studied a Plumbing diploma, said: “I’ve made some great friends at CONEL and learnt some great skills that I fully intend build upon in my future career.”

Lwin McLay, 45, from Enfield, who completed an Accounting diploma and achieved a grade 8 in GCSE maths, said: “My tutor was excellent and helped us prepare well for the exam. He knew his subject and all the topics that were going to be covered this year.”

Our courses include Access to Higher Education Diplomas, which are one-year courses for adults looking to go to university who do not have usual entry qualifications.

We also offer apprenticeships for a wide range of careers with top employers through Capital City College Training, enabling you to earn while you learn. English not your first language? Enrol on our English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses to improve your reading, writing and speaking.

If anywhere proves it is never too late to learn, it’s CONEL.

Find out about our courses and apprenticeships here and enrol at our Tottenham and Enfield Centres today

More than 3,000 people have signed up to study courses at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) during the first week of enrolment.

The college offers a wide range of vocational courses at its centres in Tottenham and Enfield, which are free up to Level 2 regardless of age or income.

CONEL also offers English, Maths and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses and some higher education qualifications and free short courses.

Kalioppi Thymaras, 23, will be studying a Creative Media Production Level 2 Diploma to help her gain the skills for her dream career in TV or film production.

She said: “I want to get a career in the media industry, but I don’t really have any relevant qualifications, so it’s an opportunity for me to get some experience and maybe go on to an apprenticeship later. I really like the creativity and being able to express myself.

Kalioppi at enrolment

Kalioppi, who moved to the UK from Greece when she was 17, has been working in a pub in Shoreditch while deciding her career path.

She said: “I got to meet one of the teachers on my course and ask her some questions about what the course involves and what projects we’ll be doing. I’m really looking forward to getting back into studying and being back in a school setting again.”

Shaun Saunders-Pierre, 32, enrolled on a Plumbing Level 2 Diploma and hopes to go into business with former CONEL student Dustin Clark who runs his own plumbing firm.

He said: “Dustin did the same course at CONEL and now has his own company, which pushed me to follow in his footsteps. I hope to go into business with him and he can show me the ropes and what he’s learnt doing it professionally. He said it’s a good place to learn, and all the skills that he learnt he gained while being at college.”

Shaun previously worked as a security guard before moving into warehousing jobs during which time he undertook a free short course in fork-lift operating at CONEL.

“I’ve worked for come good companies but felt like a change in career. I’m good working with my hands and trying to figure things out, so thought plumbing would be a good choice, and this course will give me that opportunity and environment to get the skills I need.”

Carmela at enrolment

Carmela Antoniou, 39, will be starting a Foundation Degree in Counselling having previously studied for counselling qualifications at Level 2 and 3.

She said: “I’m very altruistic and what you might call a wounded healer. I went through a traumatic experience in my childhood and ended up taking a few people to court. I received compensation, which I invested into becoming a counsellor and the person I would have needed back then.”

Carmela has further aspirations to help young offenders and is looking to set up a charity to provide for counselling services for parents of children with special needs.

She said: “Studying counselling has already drastically changed my life. I am definitely much more resilient and in tune with myself from the personal growth you get from it, and I’m sure CONEL will help me along the way.”

Francisco Ocampo Gonzalez, 47, will be studying a more advanced ESOL course having started learning English at CONEL last year.

He said: “For me, it is very important to learn English because I live here. All jobs and places ask if you can to understand English. When you can’t communicate it can be complicated to explain what you need. I practice with my friends and family, but there is never enough time to learn.”

Francisco was born in Colombia where he worked as a painter before coming to the UK from Spain in 2007 to be with his sister and uncle.

He said: “I had a very good teacher on my last ESOL course. She was very good in her explanation and helped me a lot. That is why I am very happy to come back.”

You too could be among the students enrolling at CONEL this summer and gaining new skills and knowledge to enhance your career and education prospects.

Enrol at CONEL today to start a course this September.

Capital City College Group and its three colleges – City and Islington College, Westminster Kingsway College, and the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London – are offering hundreds of free online courses in response to the social and economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Students will be able to study for free up to Level 3, the equivalent of studying an A Level, regardless of their background, income or experience.

The move comes in light of the Covid-19 crisis and follows the success us becoming London’s First Free College, offering free full-time and short courses up to Level 2. Our sister colleges, City and Islington College and Westminster Kingway College will also offer all of its full-time courses from Entry Level to Level 2 for free from this September.

Thousands of people have signed up for free short courses at CONEL and 48 per cent of students progressed to full-time study in the first year of the campaign.

Tim Mansfield, 38, decided to train for a new career as a plumber after working in the printing business for more than two decades. He studied a free short course at CONEL and progressed to a free full-time Level 2 diploma.

He 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 to build upon in my future career. I’m excited about starting a new chapter.”

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic 

Research by the Learning and Work Institute shows that young people, women and those with low level qualifications are at greater risk from the impact of Covid-19.

It further revealed regions with low levels of employment before the crisis are facing the highest risk of job losses, leading to wider regional inequalities and reducing social mobility. Read the full report here

According to The Edge Foundation unemployment is set to rise further and faster than during any recession on record despite government measures to protect jobs. Read the full report here

Our response to the social and economic impact

CCCG is the largest provider of further education in London and the South East, with three colleges and an apprenticeship and training provider, Capital City College Training.

Roy O’Shaughnessy, CEO of CCCG, said: “The impact of Covid-19 has produced many challenges for London communities, but it has also offered a unique time for radical change within the education sector.

“The need for an education and training system that is better aligned with the local economic and social needs of our communities is more apparent than ever before. This is why we have developed a broad portfolio of flexible, part time, relevant courses to meet the changing demands of the local and regional economy.

“CCCG has now become the first college group to offer free courses up to Level 3, fulfilling the needs of communities all too often impacted by social inequalities.

“Our mission to transform lives means removing potential barriers to that transformation. Financial barriers often stand in the way of communities progressing to better paid employment with better prospects. CCCG has swiftly and without unnecessary bureaucracy, removed that barrier.”

The courses will be taught through online and blended learning and enable CCCG to reach a much wider cohort. Staff have been teaching using online technology since lockdown was announced in March.

Roy added: “Staff teams from all three colleges have worked tirelessly to ensure the success of online teaching, and their commitment to their students, especially those most vulnerable, has been unquestionable.

“As the country begins its recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, some industries may never be the same again. These courses are designed with career transition in mind, enabling students to start training for new careers either because they were furloughed or have concerns about their future employment. CCCG is integral to the local and regional economic recovery.”

Find out more and see all free short courses on offer – more will be added throughout the year.