Thursday 3 May 2012

City and Guilds, Corporate Responsibility Report

Part two of Wednesday, May 2, was with my Needlemakers hat (or should that be badge?) on when I attended the launch of the City and Guilds Corporate Responsibility report. You can view the full report here.

The City and Guilds (C&GLI) is an interesting and valuable organization.  Well I would say that wouldn’t I - the Needlemakers Company was one of the 16 Livery Companies that, with the City of London Corporation, founded the City and Guilds Institute for the Advancement of Technical Education in 1878 – so we go back a long way together and continue our support. (I believe that initially we promised (and paid) £250 in five installments.)

It was an interesting presentation and also good to hear from a representative from Business in the Community which was founded in 1982, in similar circumstances to now, in the wake of riots in Toxteth and Brixton and high unemployment.

The range of courses that C&GLI offers is large and diverse, from construction and building through beauty therapy and nail technology (don’t knock it, my local nail bar is always busy!), hospitality, IT, social care etc. There is a huge gap between those who can and wish to pursue an academic route and those who leave school with no qualifications and an education of variable quality.  I believe that C&GLI can go some way to filling that gap. We also need to change the current poor perception of vocational education and training!

I was particularly taken with the “Roots to Work” programme that is using food-growing in a community to prepare people for employment in developing not only the technical skills but also the ‘soft’ communication skills needed to move into employment.

We wish them every success – please read the report – it is cogent, effective and clearly presented.

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