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 at CCCG colleges are listed below with more expected to start over the next few years.
|T LEVEL||OCCUPATIONAL SPECIALISM||COLLEGE||CENTRE|
|Digital Production, Design and Development||Digital Production, Design and Development||CANDI||Centre for Business, Arts and Technology (including Health, Social and Childcare)|
|Digital Production, Design and Development||Digital Production, Design and Development||WestKing||King’s Cross Centre|
|Digital Support Services||Digital Support||CANDI||Centre for Business, Arts and Technology (including Health, Social and Childcare)|
|Digital Support Services||Digital Support||WestKing||King’s Cross Centre|
|Education and Childcare||Early Years Educator||CANDI||Centre for Business, Arts and Technology (including Health, Social and Childcare)|
|Education and Childcare||Early Years Educator||CONEL||Tottenham Centre|
|Health||Supporting the Adult Nursing Team||WestKing||King’s Cross Centre|
|Health||Supporting the Adult Nursing Team||CONEL||Tottenham Centre|
|Health||Supporting the Mental Health Team||WestKing||King’s Cross Centre|
|Health||Supporting the Mental Health Team||CONEL||Tottenham Centre|
|Science||Laboratory Sciences||CANDI||Centre for Applied Science|
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.
Students shared their views on tackling racism with a black Metropolitan Police officer during a series of events at Capital City College Group (CCCG) to mark Black History Month.
Inspector Chris Excell, who has served the Met for 15 years, was among the guests invited to give talks to students at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL).
Insp Excell shared his experience of being a black police officer, a brief history of black police officers in Britain and his role as the Chair of the Black Police Association at the Met.
Students at CONEL also heard from Corporal Nyerere St John who spoke about being a black soldier in the British Army and gave his advice on careers in the Armed Forces.
There were also talks and presentations on black history, the slave trade, Marie Seacole, black Olympians, black footballers, black scientists and inventors, black hair and beauty, black music and the screening of a documentary on the Windrush generation.
City and Islington College (CANDI) hosted a Chat and Chillax session where students took part in a discussion about Black History Month, what it means to them, why it is important and ways to tackle racism in society.
Students also participated in workshops where they wrote positive affirmations to promote more tolerance in society on leaf-shaped pieces of paper that were then stuck to a large picture of a ‘tree of hope’ for their peers to read.
Among the uplifting messages placed on the tree were ‘Everyone is allowed to live freely’, ‘Respect each other’, ‘Love each other’ and ‘Educate ourselves and others.’
The atrium at Westminster Kingsway College’s King’s Cross Centre was adorned with flags from countries around the world to represent the diversity of its staff and students.
Students heard talks from guest speakers from BAME backgrounds including entrepreneur Tlwalola Ogunles, youth mentor Luke Malillah, actor and presenter Jordan Kensington, social mobility advocate Kevin Osei, property investor TJ Atkinson and WestKing administrator Lorna Blackman.
They were also encouraged to read books by black authors in the college’s Learning Resource Centre including Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman, Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams and Slay in Your Lane by Elizabeth Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené.
There were screenings off Becoming, the documentary on life of former US First Lady Michelle Obama, and Rocks, a drama about a black teenage girl and her brother in Hackney whose mum abandons them, forcing them to try and avoid being taken into social care.
Music students also put on live performances of their own songs inspired by black music.
CCCG runs many enrichment activities across its three colleges for students personal and professional development. Find out more about Student Life at CONEL here.
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.
Competitive computer gaming, known as esports, is one of the fastest growing sports globally. At the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) we run esports courses and an Esports Enrichment Programme at our Enfield Centre. Here, our newly appointed esports coach Finlay Stewart shares his passion for gaming and how it can help students’ education.
Tell us about your esports journey.
I graduated from university in 2015 and went straight into esports. Since then, I’ve worked many different jobs in the industry from sales executive to managing and coaching teams. I’ve worked as an esports coach for the past seven years with some of the best players and teams from around the globe and also at grassroots level. I’m very excited about our project here at CONEL.
What was your first game console and the first game you played?
I had a Nintendo Game Boy when I was around six years old. My first game was Pokémon Yellow – a classic! Soon after that I got into PlayStation and PC gaming.
What do you enjoy most about playing esports?
I enjoy the social aspect. Playing videogames is great fun on your own but even better with friends or family, especially when you’re all working together towards a goal. These days I rarely play online games on my own.
Tell us about the Esports Enrichment Programme at CONEL.
The Esports Enrichment Programme brings gamers together to play, train and have fun. At the college’s Enfield centre, students have access to 20 powerful gaming rigs and compete against gamers from other schools and colleges in the British Esports Student Champs competition each week. Games include Valorant, League of Legends, FIFA and Rocket League. For the past three years the college team, CONEL Cyphers, have been consistently placed in the top four teams in the country.
Join the Esports Academy!
Join up with CONEL Cyphers, CONEL’s official esports team, and compete with other students against colleges from around the country. If you’re not a competitive person, feel free to join up to meet like-minded people and make new friends!
Find out more
What skills can you gain playing esports that will benefit your education and career?
Playing in an esports team teaches you many things. First off, it develops your leadership and teamworking skills. It also improves your hand-eye coordination, ability to multitask and your IT, communication and problem-solving skills, to name just a few.
How do you coach someone to be a better gamer?
The way to coach people to be better gamers is the same way you would teach or coach them to do anything really. You find their current level and from there identify their strengths and weaknesses. Teach them to focus on their strengths and work on minimising where they are weak. Show them what they are doing wrong and give them additional areas to work on. The get them to watch back their mistakes and analyse them.
Is gaming still very much a male domain?
It depends on the game in question. Different games have different demographics. For example, mobile gaming is pretty much 50-50 between male and females. Console and PC games are still very male dominated, but some games like Valorant have a huge female player base.
Tell us about the esports courses available at CONEL!
CONEL offers one and two-year esports diploma courses at Level 2 and Level 3, the equivalent of three A Levels, endorsed by the British Esports Association. The courses cover streaming games, tournaments, event planning, game design, video production, coaching and entrepreneurship.
What job opportunities are out there if you become a competent gamer?
The esports industry is expanding at a huge rate and there are many different jobs and roles within the industry. On professional teams you have the pro-players, managers, analysts and coaches, but there are also backroom roles in marketing, sales, HR, merchandising, IT and media.
What do you think of the decision not to include esports in the Commonwealth Games?
It’s disappointing as it had the potential to really raise the profile of esports. I’d like to see it recognised in the Olympic or Commonwealth Games as an actual medal sport. Like any other supports it requires skill, training and commitment to be the best.
What are the side effects of too much gaming and how do you prevent them?
Too much excess of anything is never good. In gaming it can lead to back, neck and wrist problems. The other issues such as headaches are more short term and easier to fix. In general, just don’t overdo it. Take breaks, drink lots of water and eat healthily.
What is a healthy amount of time to spend gaming each week?
I wouldn’t say that there’s a hard limit to the amount of time you spend gaming as long as you are able to meet all your other commitments, get a good eight hours’ sleep, eat well and stay healthy. When it starts to take precedence over everything else, I’d say that’s when it becomes an issue.
What is your best advice on how to become a top esports player?
Play the game. Watch professional players and learn from what they do. At the end of the day, it just comes down to playing more and having the right attitude. Look at your own mistakes and don’t make excuses or blame others. And enrol at CONEL of course!
Find out more about esports courses at CONEL here.
Follow the CONEL Cyphers on Twitter @CONELesports here.
Colleges Week is a celebration of students, staff and skills from 17-21 October #LoveOurColleges
A student has launched his own news and current affairs podcast after studying a free short course at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL).
Hamse Abdilahi set up the The Aliberg Podcast Show as part of his own news website The Ailberg Post after taking an Introduction to Producing Radio Broadcasting course in March.
While studying the course, Hamse secured a grant from Collins Educational Trust in Frome, Somerset, to enable him to purchase a RØDECaster Pro to record his podcast.
So far he has recorded podcasts on How COVID Has Changed Our Public Poilcy Making, My Take on Britain’s Worsening Economic Crisis and Five Lessons Learned from the End of the Elizabethan Era.
FREE short courses at CONEL
Whether you want to move up in your career, retrain for a new job, try something new, or simply develop your skills in a subject you are interested in, we have the course for you!
Apply for a Free Short Course
Hamse, who was lives in Southwark, previously studied for a MSc Public Policy at the University of Bristol and later an MSc Sustainable Urban Development at Oxford.
He said: “I have always had a passion for media, even though I never studied journalism at college. It has been a gradual realisation that I should have a career shift to media. The podcast show is my first step, but I hope to have greater media involvement going forward.”
Hamse, who has written numerous news and feature articles including a piece for the Times Educational Supplement on what he learnt from applying to Oxbridge, recently started a Digital Content and Creation free short course at CONEL to further develop his media skills.
“I really enjoyed the radio and podcasting course for two reasons. It was first a short course, which is what I wanted, and secondly, it was both theoretical and practical,” said Hamse.
“The college has a podcast recording studio and was where I first learned how to create a podcast using a RØDECaster Pro, and now I’ve got out of my own. I like the freedom of having my podcast at home and being able to discuss a chosen topic at any time and get my voice heard.”
Find out more about Digital Media and Creative Computing courses and apply here.
At the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) we believe the cost of living should not come at the cost of your education and job prospects.
That’s why we run FREE short courses throughout the year to enable you to develop new and existing skills for your future regardless of your age or income.
Cost is one of the main barriers to learning and times are extremely tough at the moment, but there has never been a better time to learn or try something new.
Thousands of people have signed up for our FREE short courses since we started running them in 2018 and many have progressed on to full-time study with us.
And what’s more, all our full-time courses up to Level 2 and some at Level 3 are also completely FREE.
Tim Mansfield, 41, took a FREE short course in plumbing followed by a Plumbing Level 2 Diploma after working in the printing trade for more than two decades.
He said: “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.”
Our FREE short courses are run at our centres and online, in a wide range of subjects:
- Accounting and Bookkeeping
- Business and Professional Services
- Computing and IT
- Construction and Plumbing
- Digital Media and Creative Computing
- English and Maths
- Foundation and Supported Learning
- Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy
- Health and Social Care
- Modern Foreign Languages
- Public Services
- Sport and Fitness
- Teaching and Teacher Education
Find out more by searching FREE short courses and book a place at CONEL.
Book now for our Open Days at our Tottenham and Enfield Centres on Saturday 5 November from 10am to 1pm.
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.
Capital City College Group (CCCG) has launched a new range of free short courses in logistics across its colleges to fill a massive skills gap in the logistics industry.
According to Logistics UK, around 2.6 million people are employed at more than 200,000 businesses across the sector, which contributes £127 billion to the economy each year.
However, more than 1.2 million workers are needed over the next decade, in roles from transportation and warehousing to higher level positions in strategic planning and supply chain management.
CCCG has teamed up with training consultancy Skills for Logistics to become one of the first education providers in England to offer courses specifically for careers in logistics.
Places can be booked online under Free Short Courses on the City and Islington College, Westminster Kingsway College and the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London websites.
Logistics is one of the fastest growing industries in the UK but has been hampered by Brexit, COVID-19, existing skills shortages and limited training opportunities.
Demand has grown for jobs including HGV drivers, delivery managers, transport planners, project managers, client relationship managers, data analysts and business support roles in finance and procurement.
In a six-month period from October 2021 to March 2022 more than 30,000 logistics job vacancies were advertised in London with an average salary of £37,800 a year. These included opportunities with large employers such as NHS, Amazon and First Choice, along with positions advertised by employment agencies like Reed, Hays and Michael Page.
The following courses are available right now in class or online.
- An Introduction to Logistics
- An Introduction to Modes of Transportation for Logistics
- An Introduction to Supply Chain Logistics
- An Introduction to Freight Forwarding
- An Introduction to Importing and Exporting Goods Legislation
- The Highway Code for HGV drivers
- HGV Theory Test Preparation
- An Introduction to Business Improvement Techniques
- Level 3 Award in International Supply Chain Logistics.
The courses were devised with Skills for Logistics, which works with employers to support their training needs and create a pipeline of skilled workers for the logistics industry.
Carl Boyd, Head of School for Logistics at CCCG, said: “Logistics is one the largest industries in the UK and it needs more skilled and qualified staff. At CCCG, we already have an excellent track record in running warehousing and forklift truck driving programmes that lead to employment.
“With the support of Skills for Logistics we’ve recognised the wider need of the logistics industry, particularly in outer north London, where there are many haulage companies and warehousing facilities serving the capital, offering fantastic opportunities for training and employment.”
David Coombes, CEO of Skills for Logistics, said: “We’re delighted to be working closely with CCCG to develop its logistics curriculum, which will see its colleges become among the first in Further Education o specialise in delivering future skills to support the rapidly growing UK logistics sector that underpins the UK economy.
“There has not been a better time to develop future talent for a sector that requires a wide variety of skills such as digital, technical, engineering, problem solving, AI and automation, while creating long-term job security in well-paid jobs with excellent career progression.”
Find out more about our logistics courses and book a place here.
Logistics firms are invited to have their say recruitment, training and development in the sector at the launch of CCCG and Skills for Logistics’ Employer Advisory Board at Westminster Kingsway College’s Victoria Centre on Wednesday 19 October at 1pm. For more information contact Carl Boyd, Head of School for Logistics at CCCG, at email@example.com
Students and apprentices celebrated a year of outstanding achievements at the first Capital City College Group (CCCG) Excellence Awards.
Around 60 awards were presented to learners in recognition of their hard work, commitment and success over the past year at a glittering ceremony at Tobacco Dock in east London.
Students from City and Islington College (CANDI), Westminster Kingsway College (WestKing) and the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL), and apprenticeship and training provider Capital City College Training (CCCT) all received awards.
Organisations that work with CCCG were also honoured. Arsenal in the Community received a Community Recognition Award while Nominet and Building Heroes/Regal London were handed Employer Partner Awards.
The ceremony was compèred by Kamal Ellis-Hyman, Founder and Director of Aim A Little Higher, which runs personal development programmes for young people across the UK.
Alastair Da Costa, Chair of CCCG, welcomed the award winners and their families and presented the awards along with Jasbir Sondhi, Vice Principal of WestKing, and David Dangana, Director of Group Quality and Compliance.
He said: “Excellence is hard work realised. It takes dedication, perseverance, overcoming frustrations and doubts. Realising excellence requires support from friends and family, it requires picking up when you are down, and it is right to celebrate achievement and success with friends and loved ones.
“This evening, I want to thank you all for being excellent, whether you win an award, are supporting those who win an award or whether you have taught and helped those in this room to realise their potential.”
Awards were presented to students from across CCCG’s provision including many who had achieved success at college and overcome major challenges during their studies.
Among the award winners was Vivek Quissor who gained a triple-starred Distinction in his Public Services diploma at CANDI and was praised for the quality of his well-researched assignments and being an inspiration to other students.
Vivek, 18, who is now studying for a BA (Hons) Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Greenwich, said: “My lecturers provided an outstanding level of teaching throughout the length of my course. I credit my success to them. They left no stone unturned when it came to making sure that assignment work was completed to the highest of standards.”
Also picking up an award was Mariana Ghertan who completed her Healthcare Support Worker apprenticeship with CCCT despite catching COVID twice and suffering family bereavement.
Mariana, 36, said: “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.”
Tyler Minter, 24, wanted to start a Rail Engineering apprenticeship with Alstom and CONEL after learning he was to become a dad. He was described by his tutors as “an exceptional student” who produces a high standard of work and is a perfect role model to his peers.
He said: “I love the fact that I’m learning while also getting hands on experience. 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.”
The final award of the night was the CCCG Inspiration Award, which was presented to CANDI Art and Design diploma student Georgiana Guias, who was praised by her teachers for her dedication, intelligence and enthusiasm, as well as her support for her peers.
Georgiana, 18, who is now studying a BA (Hons) Architecture at Central Saint Martins, said: “It’s a big surprise to get this award because everybody on the course worked hard. The course was challenging but I got to learn new skills and techniques and the teachers were friendly and supportive of me and other students.”
The ceremony also featured live performances by Music Performance and Production students from CANDI and WestKing.
CANDI students Beth Cook, 18, Gloria Elubode, 17, and Ralph Heywood, 17, performed their own composition entitled Faith and Strength is the Key.
WestKing students Gabi Reece, 18, and Isabelle Linehan, 17, together known as The Park, performed their own work called She’ll Stay.
Hospitality and Culinary Arts students from WestKing served canapés at the event with front of house service run by WestKing’s Travel and Tourism students and CONEL’s Public Service students.
Roy O’Shaughnessy, CEO of CCCG, described the evening as “absolutely incredible and inspiring” as he congratulated the award winners, staff, sponsors and organisers of the event.
He said: “I want to congratulate our staff, students, their families and friends and thank them for making this evening such a wonderful success. It is such a privilege to look around this room and see students, teachers and staff from across the Group, sitting here today and celebrating the hard work of those that we’ve honoured, so really, truly well done.
“We wouldn’t have been here without our sponsors, and I would like to thank them on behalf of our staff, students, staff and governors. Your work means that at CCCG we not only can offer courses and programmes, but we are able to work with employers to give opportunities for our students to create the future for London.”
Find out more about our wide range of courses and apprenticeships 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.
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.