Our views & opinions

Read our latest views & opinions including our CEO's response to government policy, employees' experience working for us and guest posts from influential figures in skills development.

March 2017: Are you ready for the apprenticeship Levy?

In this guest post, Simon Reichwald, Strategic Lead for Emerging Talent at MyKindaFuture looks at the impact the Apprenticeship Levy will have on employers when it is launched on 06 April 2017.

Read more from Simon here >

March 2017: Chris Jones responds to the Government's Spring Budget

Chris Jones, Group Chief Executive of the City & Guilds Group shares his views the Government's Spring budget and the impact it will have on training and technical education in the future.

Read the response now >

March 2017: Helping young people to make the most of the apprenticeship levy

Matt Dronfield is the Senior Employability Manager at London Youth. He tells us why he thinks it’s important to help young people recognise the opportunities that apprenticeships offer given that only 5% of apprentices are left jobless within a year of completing their training, compared to 16% of university graduates.

Read more from Matt here >

February 2017: A year in to my untraditional legal route

After sitting two exams this week (contract law and employment law) it suddenly dawned on me that I am now half way through my apprenticeship and a year through my time at City & Guilds, and I'm left asking myself where the time has gone!

Read more about Nicole's first year as the City & Guilds Group Legal Apprentice >

February 2017: Managing apprentices takes empathy and bravery

I’ve managed a few people in my career so far – two of which have been apprentices here at the Group.

I think most people wrestle with how well they are doing as a manager – am I being too demanding, too soft? Are my expectations too high, not high enough? Am I communicating enough, not enough?

Read more from Emma about managing apprentices >

January 2017: How my apprenticeship has helped me to move up the career ladder

Ellie McWilliams joined us as Group Brand Apprentice last year and has nearly finished her apprenticeship. Here she reflects on what she has learnt over the past year, and how she is going to take those learnings with her into the next stage of her career.

Read more from Ellie McWilliams >

January 2017: Why businesses across the country are ‘banning the box’

Earlier this year, the Civil Service joined a growing list of employers to ‘Ban the Box’ in an effort to open up job opportunities for ex-offenders. As one of the country’s largest employers with a workforce of approx 400,000, this decision represents a huge triumph for the millions of people in the UK with a criminal conviction.It also signals an important shift in employers’ attitudes towards ex-offenders and sets an example I hope many more businesses will follow.

Afterall, it may surprise people to learn that 10.5 million people in the UK have a criminal conviction – that’s 1 in 5 of the adult population. The majority of convictions are court fines for minor one-time offences.

 

Read more from Nicola Inge >

December 2016: Giving back to the homeless community through volunteering

With busy lives it can be really hard for us to find time to volunteer, but giving in simple ways doesn’t just help to improve your health and happiness. It can even teach you new skills – all while supporting communities in need.

As part of the City & Guilds Group’s community investment programmes, all employees are entitled to take part in volunteering opportunities. Last month, I decided that I wanted to do something to help homeless people, so three of us from the Corporate Relations team volunteered at The Whitechapel Mission – a homeless charity that has been serving the homeless and marginalised for 140 years.

Read more about the work The White Chapel Mission undergo >

 

August 2016: How to get the most out of your work experience placement

Time and time again we hear employers say that when they’re recruiting it’s not just about the grades that you’ve got, it’s also about the experience you have as well. That’s why work experience is so important.

Here are our top tips to help you secure a placement and get the most out of it.

Read more >

August 2016: Why offering high quality work experience placements are important

Work experience week aims to raise awareness of the benefits of high quality work experience in the UK. This gives us an opportunity to look at why work experience is important and how it can help young people progress in their careers. 

Tiana Locker, our Youth Engagement Executive, gives some advice to employers who are thinking about offering work experience placements.

Read more from Tiana Locker>  

Training for peace and prosperity on the Syrian border

Some of the world's most destructive conflicts are close, and that means displaced people. The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) is doing an amazing job helping to stabilise people's lives in refugee camps.

One of the most important things they do is skills development; training people so they have the skills they need to be more effective members of the camp community, and to rebuild Syria when they get to go home.

Read more from Mike Dawe >

Opportunities and risks for corporate learning

It’s a changing world for skills development – in further and higher education, but also in the corporate learning sphere. Shifts in funding, global labour markets and technology are keeping us all on our toes. How are we responding and what’s likely to be around the corner?

Read more from Kineo's Matt Johnson >

Unlocking potential

We all make bad decisions which can affect the rest of our lives. For the 85,500 people currently in UK prisons and the many hundreds of thousands more living in the community with a criminal record these decisions can lead to a lifetime of disadvantage and unemployment.

Read more about the work St Giles Trust do >

How I landed my first job with no experience

I’ve been with the City & Guilds Group nearly six months now and recently I’ve been thinking about what our Group purpose really means to me and where I feel I am now in relation to it.

‘We help people develop the skills they need to progress into a job, on the job and onto the next job’.

Read more about Ellie's journey >

Skills training empowers northern Ghana’s next generation

In Ghana’s rural Upper East Region, 1 in 5 people live in extreme poverty. For a young adult growing up in this deprived area of the world there are few promising opportunities but AfriKids is working to change this.

Read more >

Making prison work, once and for all

It’s been more than 20 years since Michael Howard declared that 'prison works'. Since then, there have been extensive debates about whether he was right, whether our sentencing guidelines are appropriate, and which steps we need to take to reduce crime.

Read more from Chris Jones in the Daily Telegraph >

Future proof your work force

Employers are missing a massive trick. Some of the most talented candidates are filtered out before being considered for an interview. This is robbing UK businesses of the chance to cultivate the next generation of workers – and it needs to change, otherwise our economy will be at risk.

Read more from Chris Jones >

Maintain this commitment to skills

‘We are pleasantly surprised by the Chancellor’s commitment to professional and technical education and his recognition that this is essential to our economy. Although apprenticeships are important, they will not solve the nation’s skills shortages in isolation. We need a holistic commitment to professional and technical education to achieve the Government’s commitment to one million new jobs. Perhaps this is a start, but time will tell. 

‘We welcome the protection of the adult skills budget, the investment in University Technical Colleges and provision of loans to help individuals develop their skills. This commitment needs to be maintained.’ 

Read more of our response to the Chancellor's Spending Review >

'Young people still don't understand the benefits of apprenticeships'

I launched MyKindaFuture, then MyKindaCrowd, in 2012. This is when the UK Government withdrew from providing comprehensive career guidance to young people, which also coincided with an increased industry focus on addressing their skills gaps.

I used my industry skills to create a strategic concept for a holistic model – helping facilitate connections between young people and business.

To mark National Apprenticeship Week 2016, we have launched research that revealed students still don't truly understand the benefits of embarking on an apprenticeship versus an undergraduate route.

Read the full blog from Will Akerman >

Skills in a fast moving world

Chris Jones, CEO of the City & Guilds Group, talks about the importance of our role in putting skills on the agenda in an ever-changing world.

Watch the video and see how the City & Guilds Group is making a difference >

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