Pablo Lloyd, the co-founder of Capital City College Group's Visionnaires entrepreneurship and mentoring programme, has worked in education and skills – inspiring the next generation of businesswomen and men – for 20 years.

On Thursday 7 November, his years of dedication to young people’s vocational and technical careers were rewarded, when he received an OBE (at a ceremony called an Investiture), from HRH Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace.

After the Investiture, Capital City College Group caught up with Pablo, to ask him about his journey from primary school to an OBE and to find out if he took the bus to the Palace…

Capital City College Group (CCCG): Hello Pablo and first of all, congratulations! What an achievement! Can you tell us why you were awarded an OBE?

Pablo Lloyd: Hello and thank you! The citation states that my OBE is “For services to WorldSkills UK”. I was a Trustee of WorldSkills UK for 12 years and, although I stepped down last December, I still do some informal project-based advice and coaching for them, including support for their exciting new Productivity Lab.

WorldSkills UK is a charity that champions vocational and technical careers and world-class skills across the UK. They do this in a number of ways, but principally by selecting and training young people to represent the UK in the EuroSkills and WorldSkills competitions. They also run the national skills finals, held every year at the massive WorldSkills UK LIVE event in Birmingham.

The WorldSkills and EuroSkills competitions are a big deal. Take WorldSkills for example. The last one was earlier this year in Kazan, Russia. In all, 1,354 young people from 63 countries competed in 56 different skills competitions: best chef, best landscape gardener, best beautician, best tiler, etc – categories covered everything from Cyber Security to Fashion to Plastic Die Engineering. China, Russia and Korea are the countries to beat, but the UK usually gets in the top 10 in the categories we enter, and in Kazan we won Gold medals in two incredibly competitive categories, Aircraft Maintenance (Haydn Jakes) and Beauty Therapy (Rebecca West).

CCCG: So, it’s fair to say that skills and education are close to your heart. What’s your personal education journey?

Pablo: Well, I grew up in south London and I managed to pass my 11 plus exam at primary school. That meant I got a subsidised bursary place at a public school in Wimbledon called Kings College School. From there I went on to read maths at Cambridge University and got a job in the City of London as a trainee Chartered Accountant. Today we’d call it an apprenticeship.

Advertisement

For a while I was a Finance Director in the music industry, at the Performing Rights Society (PRS) – making sure that musicians and performers got the royalties they were due when their music was played publicly or on the radio. One of the PRS’s Board members was the record producer Pete Waterman. At that time, Pete was famous as the man who’d recently made Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue pop stars and I remember him as a funny, insightful and very dyslexic man. He was one of the people who showed me that everyone has a talent, and some people need help to find it.

In 1999, I moved into the education sector and I’ve been here ever since.

CCCG: How did you feel when you were notified of your OBE? Did you have to keep it a secret?

Pablo: I was astonished and humbled. To get an award like that, someone has to nominate you. WorldSkills UK nominated me, which was wonderful, but in reality, the WorldSkills UK’s successes are a massive team effort. I am delighted to have been honoured but I hope it will also help to gain proper recognition for the work that we all do in vocational and technical education and training.

My OBE was announced in the Queen’s Birthday honours in June [there’s also a New Year honours every January], but I was notified back in April, so I had to keep it a secret for two months until the official announcement in June. It was hard not telling anyone about it apart from my wife!

CCCG: What happened on the day? Any strange looks on the bus wearing your finest, or did you get a taxi?

Pablo: We got a cab; we couldn’t go to Buckingham Palace on the bus wearing hats and fascinators…but more seriously, my mother in law can’t walk very far!

When I found out I could only get five tickets for the Investiture, I worked out that the most important people in my life are all women, but I did invite my brothers-in-law to have lunch with us afterwards. There have also been a few celebratory drinks with friends over the last few months too!

CCCG: Were you nervous?

Pablo: On the day, I felt strangely calm. I was just as excited to meet the other people being honoured! There were about 80 of us in all; men and women from all walks of life – from the armed services, fire service, policing, the care sector, performing arts, the Scouts – all sorts. No-one wants to be late for their Investiture, so everyone arrives early and there is a fair bit of waiting around, which means there are lots of opportunities to chat to the other recipients about what they’ve done.

Don’t tell anyone, but I was secretly disappointed not to meet Olivia Coleman or Elvis Costello who were also honoured in the Queen’s Birthday honours list. It turns out they went to the palace on a different day.

CCCG: What was it like meeting Prince Charles? What did he say to you?

Pablo: He was incredibly well informed considering he had 80 people to pin a medal on within an hour or so. He asked me if we were making progress in helping young people. I told him we were, because they are so gifted and motivated, and our training experts are so expert! I reassured him that our future is safe in young people’s hands – he didn’t look convinced, but I am. I get so much hope and energy from working with young people.

We are working with Prince Charles’s charity The Prince’s Trust as they are a referral partner for the Start Up Step Up London initiative we are running with the Mayor of London. The Prince told me about a new initiative he’s started called Industrial Cadets, but unfortunately there wasn’t time to chat about visionnaires too.

CCCG: Reflecting on the nomination, announcement and now your Investiture, how do you feel about having been awarded an OBE?

Pablo: I am hugely appreciative of the hard work and effort of all the professionals who I’ve worked with over the years, which means that a few random people like me can shout louder about our efforts in vocational and technical skills.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Advertisers

Newsroom Activity

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page