BBC programme highlights job retraining opportunities at New City College

BBC programme highlights job retraining opportunities at New City College

As London faces rising unemployment, BBC Politics London has highlighted how colleges are crucial in helping people into the jobs that the capital needs.

BBC journalist Richard Tudor, below right, visited New City College to find out more. He spoke to two students retraining for new careers, and to CEO and Group Principal Gerry McDonald about how funding and bureaucracy could be reviewed to support more unemployed people back to work.

Students John and Daniel, below, who are both graduates, have been made redundant from their previous professions due to the Covid-19 pandemic. They’re undertaking a free intensive course preparing them to teach in further education, with a guaranteed interview when they successfully complete the course. Daniel commented: “I grabbed the opportunity, and it’s been really fantastic so far.”

BBC politics show highlights job retraining opportunities at New City College

Their course, at New City College Hackney campus, is one of several intensive preparation programmes offered by NCC leading to interviews for real vacancies. Opportunities range across roles in teaching, housing, security and the Civil Service.

But there are challenges in how such opportunities are funded. The BBC TV report noted how since 2013, adult education has seen a real terms funding cut of 20%. And, while the Government has promised investment in skills, this new funding won’t be realised until at least April 2021, when the demand for retraining is right now.

CEO Gerry McDonald also spoke about the restrictions on many training programmes for unemployed students.  “One of the big barriers is how many hours of training somebody can take up while they’re claiming benefits, and that’s usually limited to 16 hours (a week). We think that there needs to be a moratorium on that rule.”

BBC Politics London was broadcast on 29th November 2020. Here is a clip.

You can catch the full episode of Politics London on BBC iplayer until 27th December 2020 here.

To find out more about intensive training for job vacancies, or other retraining opportunities, email

BBC report highlights job retraining opportunities at New City College