From education to employment

From ESOL to Engineering – International student An Van Pham

As an international student, An has made the most of his time at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL). In his first year at CONEL, An completed an ESOL course to improve his English skills and even won an award for his achievements. Now studying Engineering Level 2 plus a Maths GCSE, An’s week is jam-packed. Despite being busy, he loves his time in college and An knows that he can go to his teachers at any point if anything becomes too much for him.

An explained, “I’m studying at CONEL every day so it’s like home, people are really friendly and we’ve got all the equipment to help us. I like my class, the people are really funny. We are a small group and we feel like a family, we are together a lot.

“English is not my mother language, so in my first year here I did an ESOL course, and I won an award for my studies. I can see how much I progressed, I’m quite proud of myself. From my course I have improved a lot in my English communication and speaking skills.”

An’s top tip is to focus on the thing you want to do, go for it and enjoy your study time at CONEL. 

An went on to say, “It’s different from back home, speaking a new language, meeting new people from everywhere in the world. The teachers are really supportive here if I don’t understand I can ask and the teacher and they will explain it well to make sure that I understand fully.

“My time is busy here, Monday to Friday working 9-5. I don’t want to miss my lessons so I have to arrange my lessons with GCSE Maths too. There’s a lot of homework from both courses, I have to arrange my weekends so I can get everything done.”

An hopes to apply for an apprenticeship in engineering when he completes his studies. His dream is to go to university once he’s got some work placement experience.

CONEL recognises that Maths and English are both required skills in the majority of today’s job roles. This is why we make it possible for all our students to be able to improve their Maths and English whilst also pursuing something they enjoy, in An’s case this is engineering. We offer a range of English courses spanning from ESOL Level 1 to English Language and Literature GCSE Level 2. Similarly in maths they range from Numeracy Entry Level 2 to Mathematics GCSE Level 2. To find out more, click here.

If you would like to pursue a career in engineering, you are probably wondering how much you can expect to earn. If you successfully complete an engineering course or apprenticeship at CONEL, you could land roles such as (annual pay):

  • Mechanical Engineer: £39,000
  • Electronics and Electrical Engineers: £32,240
  • Engineering Technician: £39,900
  • Civil Engineer: £45,760
  • Aircraft pilots and flight engineer: £112,840


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