For any media enquiries about the Capital City College Group or our colleges, please contact:

Neil Cox (Senior PR and Communications Manager) on 020 7391 6462 or 07458 119 575

US Education Secretary explores apprenticeships at Westminster Kingsway’s Victoria campus

June 18 2018

On Thursday 14 June, Westminster Kingsway College hosted a visit by Betsy DeVos, the U.S. Secretary of Education, where she learned about the college’s highly regarded school of hospitality and culinary arts, and its vital role in preparing apprentice students for a successful career in the industry.

Secretary DeVos visited WestKing’s Victoria campus as part of her fact-finding tour to Europe, where she explored apprenticeship programmes in Switzerland, the Netherlands and the UK. Westminster Kingsway was the only college that Secretary DeVos visited during the UK leg of her tour.

During her visit, Secretary DeVos heard from Andy Wilson (Chef Executive of the Capital City College Group – of which Westminster Kingsway College is part), Gary Hunter (Vice-Principal of Westminster Kingsway College) and Raj Kakaiya (Deputy Director of the Capital City College Group’s specialist apprenticeships arm, Capital City College Training). She also had a tour of the college’s teaching kitchens – where she had the opportunity to make bread in the bakery and chocolate in our chocolate lab, as well as meeting staff and students.

Students at Westminster Kingsway’s Victoria site learn their culinary skills under the watchful eye of the college’s chef lecturers and work in the college’s kitchens, creating and serving meals for paying customers in the college’s two public restaurants – the Brasserie and the Escoffier Room. This realistic learning environment prepares students before they embark on their careers in the hospitality and culinary arts industry.

Following her visit, Secretary DeVos said: “In the United States, we are working to make apprenticeships more common and available in more fields. It was exciting to see firsthand how Westminster Kingsway is providing strong options to students, and they are clearly benefiting from this approach.”

Andy Wilson, Chief Executive of the Capital City College Group – hosted the visit. He said: “We are very proud of our apprenticeship provision across the Group, as well as our school of hospitality and culinary arts in Victoria, and were honoured to show Secretary DeVos our college and facilities. We hope it has proved a useful introduction to our work and has inspired her as she looks to improve educational outcomes for students in the USA.”


CCCG partner with LGBT charity Stonewall

Capital City College Group (CCCG) is delighted to announce that is has partnered with Stonewall, the largest LGBT rights organisation in Europe. 

CCCG will join Stonewall on its LGBT Diversity Champions programme, which will see the Group implementing many inclusion initiatives for its staff, such as, diversity training, sharing best practices, and research materials.  

Although Stonewall’s association with CCCG will primarily be promoting LGBT inclusion within its cohort of staff, it will also provide information resources for students across its three colleges – Westminster Kingsway College, City and Islington College, and The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London. 

Dennis Francis, CCCG’s Group Manager for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion said: “It is great that the Group has signed up to be a member of Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme. As the leading LGBT equality charity, working with Stonewall gives us a partner who can help the Group in promoting diversity and implementing inclusion initiatives”. 


Following an extensive search, the Capital City College Group (CCCG) is delighted to announce the appointment of Roy O’Shaughnessy as its new Chief Executive. Roy will start his new role early in the autumn term. The Group’s current Chief Executive Andy Wilson is retiring, but will stay on until Roy starts, to facilitate a smooth handover.

12 June 2018

Currently the Chief Executive Officer of Shaw Trust – a national charity committed to helping transform the lives of young people and adults – Roy brings to CCCG a wealth of high-level experience across a range of sectors. Shaw Trust provides specialist services to help young people and adults gain an education, enter work, develop their career, improve their wellbeing or rebuild their lives. He has been The Shaw Trust’s CEO for the past six years, helping the charity to grow and diversify into a £250 million organisation with over 3,500 staff.

Roy O’Shaughnessy said: “I am excited to be joining one of the UK’s largest college groups and look forward to meeting staff across the Group and its colleges. I am sad to be leaving  Shaw Trust after a decade, but pleased that I leave it in great shape and on track to achieve its ambition of helping transform the lives of one million young people and adults each year by 2022.”

Alastair Da Costa, Chair of the Capital City College Group, said: “Roy was the outstanding candidate during our extensive selection process. He has great leadership presence, is values-driven and has an ambitious and visionary sense of how CCCG should develop its ambition.”

“It is an exciting time for CCCG, its staff, students and many stakeholders. We have a record number of learners and a renewed focus on upskilling London’s workforce for the post-Brexit era – something we are perfectly placed to do.  I would like to thank our current CEO, Andy Wilson, for his role in leading the Group through its first two years.  Roy has the experience and desire to continue to move the Group forward and the Governors and I are looking forward to working with him.”

Andy Wilson, the outgoing Chief Executive of the Capital City College Group said: “I am tremendously proud of all the CCCG senior team, staff and Governors have done to create London’s leading college Group and look forward to passing it in to such capable hands when Roy takes over the CEO role in September.”


CCCG responds to Government’s post-18 Review of Education

In February the Prime Minister announced a major review of education for over 18s.  The review’s aims are to improve both quality and choice, while ensuring value for money, and, to start the review process, the Department for Education invited interested parties to submit their views.

The Association for Colleges is the representative body for the country’s further education colleges and has submitted detailed evidence to the Review. We support and agree with their evidence – we were involved in drafting and agreeing it – and have also resounded to the Review in support of the AOC’s position. We particularly support the AoC’s call for the creation of a new higher education route, based around Higher T Levels, to sit alongside the traditional Bachelor’s degree route. We believe this would fulfil a major need for a flexible system of progression through levels 4, 5 and potentially beyond (levels 4-6 are equivalent to a Batchelor’s degree).

In our experience, students are increasingly attracted to generic, traditional, university degree programmes (partly by the low entry criteria that has resulted from increased competition among universities, and partly due to the advice that students get – which values going to university at 18, more than employment).  The result of these factors is that students find themselves in a relatively expensive 3-year degree programme before they achieve any sort of qualification.  Finally, in many cases, this Batchelor’s degree only equips them for employment in a job for which they are over-skilled.

We believe that, in the same way that the existing plans for T-Levels provide a prestigious suite of qualifications that sit alongside, but do not detract from, A-Levels, a similar approach is required for higher education programmes. Such programmes could:

  • Provide stepping on and off points with a recognised qualification at each level;
  • Provide options for full or part-time study;
  • Include industrial experience delivered in a variety of modes;
  • Consist of qualifications with a mandatory core based on employment in a sector, and optional modules reflecting the more specific requirements of a sub-sector or employer.


London’s First Introduction to Korean Temple Food

Korean Temple Food at Westminster Kingsway College

WKC and CCCG were delighted to host the Korean Cultural Centre UK as they introduced the Korean Temple Food to London with a series of events and demonstrations with the Buddhist nun and chef, Woo Kwan.

Kwan is a temple-food expert and leading practitioner of this discipline. We will also be celebrating the launch of her new cook book – the first Korean Temple Food cook book to be written in English.

Landing last week, Woo Kwan hosted a special cooking demonstration at Westminster Kingsway College where she guided students through the intricate art of preparing several dishes.

Described as “a perfect meal, full of nature’s goodness” she shared her philosophy and principles behind Korean temple food. Kwan also hosted a book launch at the Korean Cultural Centre UK, where the public were able to enjoy a selection of dishes and discuss the origins and meaning behind Korean Temple cooking.

Korean Temple Food at Westminster Kingsway College

For over 1,700 years, in Buddhist temples across Korea, monks and nuns have prepared meals using only fresh, seasonal vegetables in accordance with Buddhist principles. Today, Korean Temple Food, the original “slow food,” is gaining international fame for its simple yet flavoursome dishes.

Made with no animal products, Temple Food forbids the use of five pungent vegetables (onions, garlic, chives, green onions and leeks) and only natural seasoning is used. Each Korean temple across the peninsula has various recipes for preparing their own style of temple food.

WKC and CCCG were delighted to be involved in this amazing culinary tradition of the Korean Buddhist Temples  – which was the first time has been brought to the UK.


Andy Wilson announces his retirement as CEO of Capital City College Group

Capital City College Group (CCCG) today announced that their Chief Executive, Andy Wilson, is to retire from his position this summer, once a successor has been appointed.


Andy was Principal of Westminster Kingsway College for 12 years prior to the creation of Capital City College Group.  He was one of the key architects of CCCG and became founding Group CEO when Westminster Kingsway and City & Islington College merged in 2016.  He successfully led the organisation as it expanded when the College of Haringey, Enfield & North East London joined and the Group’s innovative training arm, Capital City College Training, was created to work directly with London’s employers.

Alastair Da Costa, CCCG Chair, said: “The Governors of Capital City College Group are grateful to Andy for all he has done to create the most important FE organisation in London and to lead it as it has become successfully established. It was always part of Andy’s and the Board’s longer-term plan for him to lead the Group until it became fully established, and, following his retirement, for his successor to build on what he has started. We wish Andy a long and happy retirement.”

The Group has begun the process to recruit a new CEO and will be seeking applications in the next few weeks.  Andy will remain in post until his successor is appointed and takes up the position.

Andy Wilson said: “I am proud to have been part of the creation of CCCG and through it to have ensured its member colleges continue to flourish at the heart of further education and training in London. I have been fortunate to work with a tremendous team of managers and governors and thank them for the support they have provided in steering the Group through the first phase of its development.”  However, as we all know, Further Education operates in a fast changing environment and I believe CCCG needs somebody who can make a longer term commitment than I can as it moves through the next phases of its evolution’.



We need a skills system that works for everyone, says Group Chief Executive Andy Wilson

Andy Wilson has a blog on the website of the Collab Group – the membership organisation for the UK’s top colleges and College Groups.  In it he argues that the Mayors’ Skills for Londoners strategy and the Good Work Standard it proposes should be the launchpad for a partnership of Further Education, business and regional government to design a skills system that meets the demands of ALL London’s residents and needs of ALL its businesses.

Read more in the full blog on the Collab website.


CCCG welcome new Education Secretary and urges FE engagement

9 January 2017

Capital City College Group has welcomed the appointment of Damian Hinds to the role of Education Secretary, and urges him to engage with the FE sector.

 Andy Wilson, Chief Executive of the Capital City College Group said:

“While we are sorry to see Justine Greening leave the vital role of Education Secretary after only 18 months in the job, we look forward to working with Damian Hinds as he gets his teeth into his new brief. As one of the country’s leading college groups, we know that Further Education can help bridge the gap in attainment between pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds and those from more affluent backgrounds. As a former Chair of the APPG on Social Mobility, we hope that Damien Hinds will understand FE’s key role and will chose to work with the sector to improve educational opportunity for all our young people.  We hope he will also maintain Justine Greening’s commitment to expanding technical education.


College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) joins Capital City College Group 

1 November 2017

Capital City College Group (CCCG) has today announced that it is merging with The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL), making the Group the largest further education and training provider in London.

With CONEL joining, the Capital City College Group will provide learning to 37,000 students aged 16 and over, in 11 sites across London and the South East, as well as providing a high-quality training service for employers. As part of its overriding commitment to provide the next generation of skilled Londoners, the enlarged Group has nationally recognised specialisms in areas crucial to the UK’s future, such as construction, digital technology, healthcare, hospitality, rail engineering and science, and last year, CCCG’s colleges trained more than 2,000 apprentices on behalf of 1,000 employers.

All three colleges (Westminster Kingsway College, City and Islington College, and The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London), which currently have ‘Good’ OfSTED grades, will maintain their individual operating brands. And, with apprenticeships forming an increasingly important part of further education provision, the three colleges’ services will be supported by Capital City College Training (CCCT), launched by CCCG earlier this year to focus on meeting employers’ training needs and provide the widest range of apprenticeships in London.

Andy Wilson, CEO of CCCG, said:

“We are all very excited that CONEL is joining the group – bringing together three of London’s most successful colleges to create an education and training powerhouse and a regional college for London, which will deliver exceptional benefits to local communities and businesses. All our centres are close to transport hubs, making them accessible to our students, adult learners, apprentices and businesses.

As the country prepares to exit the European Union, Capital City College Group will be in an even stronger position to help to meet the UK’s skills shortage and transform the lives of Londoners through innovative education and training.”

Digital Career College opens at Westminster Kingsway College

11 September 2017

Westminster Kingsway College has launched a Career College to help address the growing skills shortages in the expanding digital industry.

Companies including the Tech Partnership and Arcadia, together with a range of smaller businesses and other stakeholders, attended a launch on 11 September 2017 to mark the opening of the new venture, which has been set up in partnership with the Career Colleges Trust.

The Career College will prepare 14-19 year olds for exciting careers in the digital sector. It is being established at Westminster Kingsway College’s Kings Cross campus – which is in the heart of the capital’s Knowledge Quarter. Many job opportunities are available in this area – now and in the future – with well-trained young people needed to meet the growing demand for digital skills.

Google UK Director, Craig Fenton provided the keynote speech, and highlighted the importance of nurturing a well-skilled future workforce. He said:

“The UK has long been a world leader in innovation and is already one of the most advanced digital markets in the world.  The secret sauce of leading in digital is not just the technology, it’s the people who shape it. Attracting, inspiring and igniting that talent is therefore critical.

“Career Colleges provide an opportunity for young talent to experiment and grow early in the field and will play an important role in fuelling future waves of innovation and opportunity in Digital Britain.”

Also speaking at the event was CEO of yourfeed, Jack Parsons. Jack spoke about his company’s ambition to connect two million young people to opportunities by 2020 – and has pledged 100 commercial opportunities for the first 100 Career College students. Jack called on other companies to make similar pledges, saying:

“I am delighted to support both the Career Colleges Trust and Westminster Kingsway College with this amazing new digital career college. This is a super forward thinking approach in a world of digital creation.”

According to the Government’s third annual Tech Nation report the digital economy is growing at twice the rate of the wider economy. In London alone, the digital tech turnover is £56 billion and there are 300,169 digital tech jobs. However, the British Chamber of Commerce survey found nationally that three-in-four businesses are facing a shortage of digital skills in their workforce.  There are concerns that a future shortfall in the number of employees with digital skills could affect London’s ability to stay at the forefront of this burgeoning industry.

Principal of Westminster Kingsway College (WKC), Kim Caplin, added:

“Our new Career College will help redress the skills shortage within the thriving digital sector. It is being supported by local employers who will be involved in the curriculum development and offer students real work opportunities and work placements, with an industry focus.”

CEO of the Career Colleges Trust, Ruth Gilbert, spoke about the expanding Career College movement and the importance of employer engagement:

“The Career Colleges Trust is delighted to see the launch of this innovative Career College at Westminster Kingsway College, which will be specialising in an industry that is crucial to the nation’s economy.

“As Craig explained in his speech today, investment must be made in the next generation of skilled workers and I am sure he has helped to inspire the next generation of digital experts today.

“We are proud of our expanding Career College network and impressed by the support being given by a range of employers, of all sizes, across all industries. This reflects the fact that businesses are keen to get involved with training the next generation, which is essential for the economy as a whole. We look forward to working with WKC and its partners on this exciting venture.”

WKC will be launching a second Career College in October 2017, which will specialise in health care. These are among 20 Career Colleges that will open across the country by the end of 2017, specialising in six growth industries: digital , engineering, hospitality, healthcare, construction and professional services. Career Colleges were launched by Lord Baker in 2013 to help address the widening skills gaps within these key industries, ensuring that employers have access to the skilled workforces they require now and in the future.

For more information about Career Colleges visit:

Merger Announcement

13 APRIL 2017

In August 2016, Westminster Kingsway and City and Islington Colleges merged to create a dynamic new force at the heart of London’s further education sector. After consulting with our students, staff, business partners and other stakeholders we are excited to announce our new corporate name – Capital City College Group (CCCG).

The CCCG partners will still be known by their existing names.

By coming together, the colleges have been able to build on their excellent reputations and invest more in the teaching, support and facilities that matter most to our students.

CCCG has responded to the evolution and impact of the creative digital economy in London by extending its curriculum from Foundation to HND level and there are plans to develop a Digital Media Institute. Further, all Londoners’ potential training needs have been considered. The college partners offer specialist provision for alternative Key Stage 4. Students with learning difficulties and disabilities are supported through a collaborative approach with local authorities to optimise access to training and education.

In addition to our colleges, we have launched Capital City College Training (CCCT). This training provision combines the gold standard apprenticeship quality from our colleges with the flexibility and innovation of a private provider.  The launch of CCCT coincides with the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy. CCCT will offer practical guidance and support for London businesses as they find new ways of building a skilled workforce in a post-Brexit employment market.

CCCG’s Chief Executive Andy Wilson said: “The creation of the Capital City College Group enriches the excellent reputations of our member colleges.  We have established a solid foundation on which we will build new opportunities for students and business to gain the skills and knowledge they will need to thrive in mid-21st century London”.