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On 20 November 2017, Havering College welcomed students and their families to Queen’s Theatre in Hornchurch for the Further Education Awards 2017. Our special guest of honour was Bianca Miller-Cole, runner-up of the BBC’s The Apprentice in 2014, who delivered a motivational speech to the audience.

As an award-winning entrepreneur, author, speaker and ambassador, Bianca started her career having graduated from University with a degree in business management and economics. She joined one of the world’s largest management and technology consulting firms as an HR advisor, before moving on for a brief stint in financial recruitment.rsz havering bianca miller

In 2012 at the age 23, Bianca launched her own business, The Be Group, and manages a team of consultants who advise in development, employability skills and image consultancy. A very impressive client list includes the likes of PWC, AMEX, Google, HSBC and Barclays, as well as several top universities in the UK.

Bianca went on to launch her nude hosiery brand Bianca Miller London in 2015. The range has been created to redefine 'nude' and offers eight shades of nude to cater to all complexions. They currently adorn the shelves in London’s Topshop.

Prior to the event, Maria Thompson, Principal & CEO of Havering College of Further Education, shared her optimism on what the future holds for the students in attendance:

The Further Education Awards are an opportunity for us as a college to recognise learners who have made an outstanding effort and commitment to their academic achievement. The success and achievements we are celebrating tonight mark only the beginning of their exciting journey.

Asfa Sohail, Vice Principal, Havering College of Further Education, was thrilled by the success of the evening:

The Further Education Awards Ceremony was an inspirational event with so many of our learners recognised for their commitment, dedication and achievements.

A huge well done to all of our students, we are all very proud of you!

rsz havering fe


Lord Baker visited Havering College today to launch it as a Construction & Engineering Career College. The former Education Secretary Trustee, who is Founder of the Career Colleges Trust, was joined by learners and employers at the official launch event.

Havering College was awarded Career College status for Construction & Engineering by the Career Colleges Trust after receiving the backing of East London’s biggest employers. The Trust works alongside FE colleges and employers to help shape employer-led curriculums, ensuring students graduate into employment.Lord Baker Presenting Award

Speaking at the launch, Asfa Sohail, Vice Principal at Havering College, said:

As a Career College, we will provide our learners with established, recognised and meaningful qualifications. With our strong focus on employer engagement, we are able to nurture a workforce that employers are really looking for. The demand for skilled young people in the construction and engineering sectors has never been higher.

Alongside technical ability, we place great emphasis on addressing the UK’s current failings in basic literacy and numeracy skills, which are negatively impacting the construction and engineering industries nationwide.

89% of Havering College students go on to secure employment or work towards the next level of qualification, making it a destination of choice for learners.

In addition to its Career College status, full planning permission has been granted for Havering’s Construction, Infrastructure, Skills & Innovation Centre (CISIC). The £11m facility will offer skilled jobs to Havering’s aspiring learners, cementing it as a centre of excellence for construction and engineering.

Lord Baker said:

Being part of the Career Colleges network will make a huge difference to students at CISIC, who will be equipped with real world skills - a benefit to them and UK construction.

Lord Baker was joined at the launch by learners who will form the first cohort at CISIC, and several of the employers backing the new development. Grant Findlay, from the construction and civil engineering company Sir Robert McAlpine, said:

There are skills needed within construction and engineering that we are currently lacking, such as VR, 3D printing, automation and robotics. We want the next generation to come into the industry and teach us these skills.

John Bryson, from residential development firm L&Q, said:

Our organisation needs to build hundreds of thousands of homes in the next decade, and to achieve this we need to employ thousands of skilled individuals. Better engagement with employers is something the UK education system is in need of, and it’s something that Havering College is excellent at.

Havering College provides further and higher education to around 8,500 students and has around 467 full time equivalent staff. Alongside its status as a Career College, CISIC is predicted to deliver a contribution of over £30m to the local economy over the next ten years.

Career Colleges were set up by the Career Colleges Trust in 2013 with a view to bridging the skills gap in key industries.  In order to become a Career College, colleges need to demonstrate a strong pathway for employer-led education, with a range of relevant qualifications that provide a clear route to work. 

havering college career college launch

We are excited to announce the launch of our Construction and Engineering Career College on the 17th of October with a visit from Lord Baker, Founder of the Career Colleges Trust.

The UK is currently experiencing a skills shortage in the Construction and Engineering sectors and the demand for skilled young people to enter these professions has never been higher. Together with some of the region’s top employers, we are providing courses to equip learners with high quality, vocationally focussed, qualifications.

Asfa Sohail, Vice Principal commented “We are excited about acquiring the Career College kite mark for both construction and engineering as this provides a excellent opportunity for our learners to develop the most relevant industry-specific skills.

Our career colleges offer us the opportunity to put employers in the driving seat to design and shape our curriculum offer. This will result in our learners having a competitive advantage for the world of work and being well-prepared for their next steps into further training”. 

CISICThe College has made another huge step towards cementing itself as a centre of excellence for construction and engineering. The Career Colleges Trust has awarded it Career College status for construction and engineering and the proposed £11m Construction, Infrastructure Skills & Innovation Centre (CISIC) is expected to be given the green light by Havering LBC's planning committee on Thursday.

Alongside its status as a Career College, CISIC is predicted to deliver a contribution of over £30m to the local economy over the next ten years.

East London’s largest local employers have backed the College's Construction, Infrastructure Skills & Innovation Centre (CISIC), a £11million facility at Rainham Campus jointly-funded by the College and the Greater London Authority, to offer skilled jobs to the Borough's aspiring learners in skilled construction and infrastructure.

Career Colleges deliver employer-led courses to equip 14-19 year-olds with the skills they need to succeed. Founded in 2013 the Career Colleges Trust bridges the skills gap in vocational occupations. Employers help shape the curriculum and are designed for learners to progress direct to employment.

The businesses will work with our College to develop the new Career College in Construction and Engineering, and develop the curriculum, training, and then offer the work experience and employment opportunities to learners once they have finished their studies.

The Career College employer partners include some of East London’s biggest employers: London & Quadrant, Rooff, Vinci, Thomas Sinden, Inflite Engineering, Merlin Entertainment, Clarion, DMG Media, Barking & Dagenham LBC, and Havering LBC.

Lord Kenneth Baker, Former Education Secretary, and Founder of the Career Colleges Trust said;

We have huge support from industry and employers - as a result students are being equipped with relevant, real world skills, which is of benefit to both them and to UK industry as a whole. I am delighted to see our Career Colleges network growing. I look forward to seeing further growth and success over the coming years.
We provide further and higher education to around 8,500 students and have around 467 full time equivalent staff. The new facility will support an extra 500 learners annually and provide an additional of 60 full time jobs. New students will benefit from the latest technology to support their learning with Building Information Modelling and Computer Aided Design, and get to grips with Virtual Engineering at the CISIC Augmented Reality facility.

CISIC will play a significant role in Rainham’s regeneration, increasing the economic prosperity for the south of the borough because it will provide better training in skilled occupations for local people and improved employment prospects. At the same time, the centre for excellence will attract students from across the country and help to build Havering’s reputation for further and higher education across the country.

Maria Thompson, Principal & Chief Executive of the College, says;

Working in partnership with the local council and residents, we want to build a better future for Rainham. This jobs pledge for our students will put our local community on the map. We are so excited for the facility to open and look forward to supporting Rainham’s students into their future careers in skilled construction and engineering.
Working with the local council, we have donated £400,000 to fund the construction of the new access road required for the CISIC facility. Our students have helped to build the window sets for a number of social housing units on Passive Close.

The final approval on the design proposals (page 95 Print/page 99 PDF) for CISIC went before Havering LBC’s planning committee on Thursday 21st September 2017.

Rebecca Grace, a previous student at the college got 4 yeses last weekend on the nationwide popular show The X Factor on ITV. Rebecca attended the College from 2013 to 2015 completing her Level 2 in Music Performance course and progressed onto Level 3. Having been a hard working student, Rebecca contributed enormously to the college by supporting our very own record label called Avant Garden Record and participating in multiple projects such as The Crossover Project for Godspell and Synergy Street. These performances were epitomical for Rebecca’s future musical career as they took place at Her Majesty’s Theatre in the West End, attracting attention and progression for bigger and better opportunities.

Being on national TV at the X Factor auditions, Rebecca wowed the judges with a beautiful version of the song Piece by Piece by Kelly Clarkson, garnering a round of applause from all 4 judges. Since getting past the auditions, Rebecca has had worldwide press coverage, with articles in the Evening Standard and The Metro being branded as ‘The New Adele’. Judge Simon Cowell praised her performance, telling her “I’ve never listened to the lyrics like I just did with you, I listened to every word.”

“I am going to remember you, there is something about you I really like”.

We are extremely proud of Rebecca and have our fingers crossed for her throughout the whole show and her future career. Keep posted to see how she does on this year’s X Factor!

For further information on Performing Arts courses at Havering College call 01708 462 801 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

rsz rebecca grace havering college student

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