London Mayor Sadiq Khan with L-R Stephen Walker CSTA, Jasmine Whitbread Chief Executive London First and Barry Mortimer West London Hub Co-ordinator

West London College was out in force at Skills London 2019 at the weekend (Friday and Saturday, 15 and 16 November 2019) at ExCeL, in the heart of London’s Docklands. At the largest skills show in the UK devoted to 15 - 24 year olds, thousands of students and their families descended from all across London and the home counties to explore the wealth of jobs and career pathways open to them.

Further education colleges to large-scale employers across construction, healthcare, business and finance to name but just a few, attended, advising on the best ways into exciting work from British Airways to Heathrow Airport and HS2.

Mayor for London, Sadiq Khan, officially opened the event with a passionate speech praising the role of FE Colleges and the part they play in providing the skills London needs. 

At the West London Hub for the Mayor’s Construction Academy (MCA), Mayor Sadiq Khan met with Barry Mortimer, (Hub co-ordinator, West London) and Stephen Walker of CSTA Global, a company partnering West London College. The West London Hub is a unique alliance of training providers, employers, local authorities and charities working together to boost the number of skilled workers and opportunities in construction.  West London College was one of the first MCA Hubs, a quality mark that identifies and recognises high-quality construction skills training in London.

At the West London London College main stand, science students displayed electrical circuits completed with bananas to make music, hair and beauty students made brightly coloured stencilled ‘tattoos’, and hospitality students created floral displays using marzipan.

The West London College Apprenticeships stand was busy with many enquiries from students and their families who are increasingly choosing to gain their qualifications via an apprenticeship rather than going to university. As an apprentice students are in paid work and achieve their qualifications, compared to university students who accumulate significant debts in pursuing degree courses.

On a floor above the exhibition a panel discussion took place, hosted by London First. The theme of the debate was, ‘Harnessing the talents of all - ensuring London has access to the skills it needs’. The VIP panel reflected that London needs to do more to address diversity so that the jobs of the future are matched to the talents and skills of its population and vice versa.

Fleur Adolphe from West London College said: "Skills London is an excellent opportunity for West London College to add our voice to the campaigning London First and the Mayor for London carry out on behalf of lifelong learning and providing meaningful jobs and opportunities for Londoners to include all of our many and diverse communities."

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