Jobseekers had the chance to find out more about new employment opportunities and gaining work skills when they attended a Careers and Enterprise Day at Westminster Kingsway College.
The event was run with the Central District Alliance (CDA) business improvement district, which is partnering the college’s Mayor of London Digital and Hospitality Academy Hubs that launched earlier this year.
The CDA represents more than 400 businesses in central London and has backed the hubs to help its members upskill their staff and recruit new talent in the aftermath of the COVID pandemic.
Mayor of Camden Cllr Nasim Ali was the special guest at the event at the college’s King’s Cross Centre, which was held to coincide with Global Entrepreneurship Week last month.
CCCG’s apprenticeship and training provider Capital City College Training and entrepreneurship programme Visionnaires, a subsidiary of CCCG, were also present at the event.
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Among the other organisations that attended were Transport for London, Camden Council, Metropolitan Police, London Fire Brigade, DHL, Cutlass Security Group, Bidvest Noonan, London Communications Agency and Digital Influx.
There were also stands from several hospitality and entertainment businesses including Pret, Shaftesbury Theatre, Travelodge, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, Imperial London Hotels, Kimpton Fitzroy London and Strand Palace.
Visitors had the opportunity to attend employability sessions with Samsung, LinkedIn and Edwardian Hotels, and have free professional headshots taken for their LinkedIn profiles.
Fashion and Communication Level 3 Diploma students modelled outfits for a fashion show sponsored by Dress for Success and Burton, which included advice on how to dress for a job interview.
There were also live demonstrations from students from the college’s School for Hospitality and Culinary Arts in Victoria.
Attendees also had chance to win a tablet or one of several mobile phones in a prize draw.
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Short films by media students from Westminster Kingsway College have been named among the best animations in this year’s international Creative Conscience Awards.
Ben Dullea and Raiam Koroma were both recognised in the competition, which encourages students to use their creative talents to make a positive difference in the world.
The competition was open to individual students or teams of up to five enrolled on further and higher education courses in the UK and abroad.
Entrants were asked to come up with a project to tackle an issue of their own or one under a series of themes set by Creative Conscience – health and wellbeing, social issues, climate crisis, the natural world and education and learning.
They had to choose from 16 creative disciplines including film and photography, animation, graphic design, fashion and textiles, illustration and motion graphics.
Ben, 21, was among the winners in the animation section and was highly commended for his film highlighting the need for better mental health and wellbeing in the hospitality industry.
Raiam, 20, drew on personal experience for her film about sickle cell anaemia, a genetic condition that is particularly common among African and Caribbean people.
Several students from Korea visiting WestKing and other colleges within Capital City College Group also took part in the competition and were named among the winners.
Creative Conscience is an Islington-based not-for-profit organisation focused on using creativity and innovation to make positive change across the world.
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It aims to empower, mentor and reward creative communities using their talents by running change-making workshops, training programmes, events and its annual awards.
The shortlisted projects were judged based on the entrant’s creative approach and their potential impact, by a panel of industry experts.
Ben and Raiam entered the competition while studying an Access to Higher Education Diploma in Creative and Digital Media, which they completed in the summer.
Access courses are one-year study programmes for adults who may not have the usual entry requirements to get into university or other higher education course.
Katy Milner, Lecturer in Creative Media and Digital, said: “Big congratulations to our Access Media students Ben Dullea and Raiam Koroma in this year’s Creative conscience awards.
“Ben was a winner in the animation section and was highly commended overall and Raiam also did so well to be shortlisted. Ben’s success is an even more remarkable achievement when you consider all the other winners were second and third-year university students.
“It just shows that Access students can punch well above their weight on an international stage when given the appropriate incentive, support and opportunity.”
Find out more about Access to Higher Education Diplomas and apply here.
On Wednesday 21 September, Capital City College Group (CCCG) and Central District Alliance (CDA) came together to celebrate the launch of the Mayor of London Academy Hubs in the Digital and Hospitality industries. The Hubs are a key part of the Mayor’s Academy Hub programme – a £44 million initiative to support the capital’s recovery from the pandemic.
They were joined by London’s Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills, Jules Pipe, and employer partners who are working with the Group and CDA to deliver the Academy Hubs’ work.
Supporting Londoners into work for the first time or into higher paid and more secure work – especially from under-represented groups such as minority ethnic communities, women and disabled people – is a key priority for London’s Mayor, Sadiq Khan. The Digital and Hospitality Hubs will work with employers to train Londoners for work in those industries, helping them meet their staffing and recruitment challenges.
Having strong Digital and Hospitality sectors will be critical to London’s recovery. For example, the hospitality industry employs around 400,000 people in London, but the lack of suitable and trained staff means there are too many vacancies which is costing the sector billions in lost revenue.
CDA is the Business Improvement District for Holborn and Clerkenwell. Its footprint, which spans Holborn and Clerkenwell, is also home to a world-leading tech cluster, including household names such as Google, TikTok, Snapchat and LinkedIn. These employers – alongside hundreds of others in the CDA district and across the city – can provide a range of jobs and career opportunities for Londoners and so CCCG, working collaboratively with CDA, will establish partnerships to facilitate these new roles.
However, 210,000 people are currently unemployed in London and a further 1,080,000 adults – some 21.7% of the working age population – are economically inactive. So, the Academy Hubs’ role will be to unlock the valuable contribution that businesses can bring and enable more socially-excluded Londoners to gain employment.
As Jules Pipe explained at the event: “The inequalities that were already present in London were laid bare by the pandemic. Over 750,000 working people in London are still paid less than the London Living Wage and more than a quarter of Londoners are living in poverty once their housing costs are taken into account.
“We’re committed to using the skills funding that we have at our disposal to support Londoners – particularly the most disadvantaged and those most impacted by the pandemic – to acquire the skills they need to progress in life and get into good work.
“I’d like to congratulate all the partners for the leadership shown by the CDA and Capital City College Group for making this possible.”
Also speaking at the event, Alexander Jan, Chair of Central District Alliance (CDA) said: “We want to ensure sustainable and inclusive economic growth, which means delivering skills and employment opportunities for our communities.
“We need some big ideas and collective action, and we very much believe that connecting and encouraging people back into the labour market and to help people who are looking for work gain the skills they need to do so, is at the heart of that approach.
“We and our members are delighted to be working with Capital City College Group, to help provide long-term unemployed people with opportunities to gain good quality jobs and helping them gain the skills they need to do so.”
Westminster Kingsway College is part of Capital City College Group and already runs a wide range of courses in the hospitality and digital sectors. The Group is therefore ideally placed to support even more Londoners into these exciting industries. To illustrate the transformative effect that skills training can have, current and former students from the college also spoke at the event about their experiences.
Opeoluwa Odutayo studied Culinary Arts at Westminster Kingsway College, before setting up Ice Cream and Ting, which produces ice creams with Caribbean and African flavours, including Plantain, Hibiscus, and Avocado and Strawberry.
She said: “My teachers at Westminster Kingsway College helped me with advice and boosted my confidence. I worked at events and did internships at four different restaurants to gain experience and at the end of my course, I won the overall best student award. My mum was so proud of me!”
The college also exposes students to industries that they will be working in when they have qualified – helping them gain contacts and eventually secure good quality work.
Student in Hospitality Archie Smitton said: “Working at events with the college helps me get contacts in the industry and work out where in the industry I want to work.
“Last year I did work experience in a Peruvian restaurant in Green Park and a modern English restaurant in Soho and later this year I’m going to Lisbon for two weeks’ work experience. I’m really looking forward to learning a different language and working in a different country.”
The Hubs have already started work – holding taster sessions and introductory courses hosted by industry experts. These have been in, for example, culinary skills, coding for women, digital marketing, cyber security and user experience (UX) design.
In addition, the Digital Hub will be running internship programmes which will come with additional support including employability training, ongoing support, advice, and guidance on getting the most out of the programme, as well as support for interns to build their network and prepare for their next steps.
And the Hospitality Hub is working with Westminster TalentServe (Westminster City Council’s new recruitment service for its hospitality and leisure businesses) to provide all the training to people who are referred to the service.
You can find out more about the Digital and Hospitality hubs and all our Mayor of London Skills Academies here.