From education to employment

CONEL student says “I was all confused in secondary school and sixth form, but now I have plans! “

Caitlin Leal started out her post 16 education at sixth form but didn’t feel she was getting enough opportunity or support. When she found out that she could do a course on Early Years and Childcare at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London, Caitlin moved to CONEL and has not looked back since.

It has been a perfect fit for Caitlin, not only has she had some dream placements, but she has also been offered a job as a Nursery Practitioner at a setting where she is currently on work experience.

“My Placement Officer has been really good at CONEL, she found places that really were of interest to me. I’ve now been offered a job too but I need to finish my course first. I’m doing my work placement there now, it’s a private nursery.  I’m so pleased – the thought of working as a Nursery Practitioner at the age of 19 is great, CONEL has really helped me achieve that.

Caitlin loves the independence and freedom of college life and now studying her Level Three, she believes she has found her dream course.

Caitlin said: “I started out doing health and social care in sixth form but it wasn’t really what I wanted to do so when I heard about this course at CONEL and that it was focused on early years in childcare, it was the perfect match for me.

“When I was at sixth form, they held me back and never pushed me. As soon as I came to CONEL they gave me a variety of options of where I could go as well as different job types I could get from a course like mine. It’s been really encouraging. It’s made me want to get my qualifications and get out there into the world of work. The teachers have been amazing. I’ve passed first time with every assignment in Level Two and I’m hoping to do the same with Level Three.

“I regret going to sixth form, I wish I’d come straight here. I feel like I wasted a year, I could have been further down the line by now. I was all confused in secondary school and sixth form but now I have plans, I have a job on hold and I am really enjoying my course. Sixth form can be really stressful and pressured. When you come to college, if you feel uncomfortable you have the freedom of choice, to change courses, do something else, this makes me feel more comfortable because it’s my personal choice.”

Job roles in the Childcare and early years market are projected grow by 6.4% over the period to 2024, creating 2,300 jobs. In the same period, 28.8% of the workforce is projected to retire, creating 10,500 job openings.


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