From education to employment

UK Skills honours talented young competitors

Last Saturday I attended the annual City & Guilds Senior Awards Graduation Ceremony in London. I was fortunate enough be able to meet with and celebrate the achievements of a great number of skilled and talented young men and women whose professional development has been steeped in the WorldSkills development programme.

As such, it was with tremendous pride that I presented, on behalf of UK Skills, the prestigious City & Guilds Licentiateship (LCGI) Senior Award to 43 young individuals. The licentiate winners were honoured with the award in recognition of their personal achievements and application of professional knowledge in the workplace.

The ceremony was held at the historic Merchant Taylors’ Hall on Threadneedle Street, London. It was attended by members of the Council of City & Guilds and the licentiate winners along with a host of friends, families and supporters. The event was indeed a truly momentous occasion.

All the young people honoured with the LGCI Award have successfully completed a rigorous two-to-four year training and development programme, run by UK Skills, in which their specialist skill and other essential aspects of world class performance including the ability to perform under acute pressure have been tested to the limit. An essential element of the programme sees UK Skills monitor and assess the development and progress made by each student, to respond to and negotiate with others, and to add significant value to their workplaces. Furthermore, of these students, 26 represented the UK in their skill set at the international skills competition WorldSkills which was held in Calgary, Canada, in 2009. The biennial WorldSkills Competition is the world’s largest international skills competition for young people. Excitingly, the next WorldSkills takes place in London from 5-8 October 2011 and will be held at ExCeL London.

The high number of awards that I was able to present to young people is a testament to the robust training framework we have put in place at UK Skills. Traditionally the Licentiateship Senior Award is given to those who have worked in industry longer and progressed to at least junior management roles. But we have been able to take our aspiring competitors from skilled crafts people to full professional standing in a relatively short period of time. This achievement would not have been possible without our dedicated training managers and continued investment and support from the government, partners and sponsors.

In particular, we are grateful to independent education foundation Edge, the premier supporter of both Squad UK and Team UK for WorldSkills London 2011; and City & Guilds, the UK’s leading provider of work-related qualifications, which also supports both Squad UK and Team UK. Representatives from both organisations attended the ceremony and David Lane, Marketing and Communications Director at Edge, said: “The breadth of talented and successful individuals that have achieved the City & Guilds LCGI Senior Award demonstrates just how valuable vocational and practical education and training are to UK industry. It also illustrates perfectly to other aspiring and talented young people that there are many paths to success.”

Chris Jones, Director General, City & Guilds added: “It really is fantastic to see so many talented young people studying for qualifications like the LCGI. This year’s licentiate winners have demonstrated serious determination and dedication to achieve vocational excellence and have no undoubtedly maximised their workplace potential as a result.”

In addition to the LCGI Senior Award presentation, I was also delighted to be able to honour four UK Skills training managers with the City & Guilds Graduateship (GCGI) Senior Award at the ceremony. The GCGI Senior Award recognises the achievements of candidates at middle management level and is mapped to a British Honours degree and level 6 on the National Qualification Framework (NQF).

I am sure everyone will join me in congratulating all those who gained the licentiateship and graduateship at this year’s ceremony. UK Skills is certainly looking forward to building on this success at WorldSkills London 2011.

Simon Bartley is chief executive of UK Skills, which champions learning through competitions and awards


Read other FE News articles by Simon Bartley:

Understanding employee values and development needs for business success

Act now to enter the world’s greatest skills competition

Supporting employee engagement through Further Education

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