Training in the practice and theory of our crafts and trades is still one of the prime objectives of the Livery movement, as it has been for hundreds of years. The Livery Companies Skills Council serves the Livery by promoting excellence in skills across the Livery, maintaining a dialogue with policy makers in Government and industry, engaging with Sector Skills Councils and bodies to establish sound training frameworks, securing adequate funding for apprenticeships and vocational training, providing contacts for advice on training and career development, and strengthening the historic links with City & Guilds.

The LCSC has almost 60 members representing over half the Livery Companies who are concerned with supporting a high standard of training in their selected trades and skills. The Council has contributed to various reviews and Government reports, and considered other issues in depth. They established a Master Certificate Scheme to recognise the enormous contribution individuals can make to their trades and crafts.

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The Master Certificate Scheme is designed to encourage career progression in areas of skills identified with City of London Livery Companies. Through this initiative, they are acting in partnership with City & Guilds of London Institute to encourage the pursuit of excellence in vocational education and training.

Master Certificates were first introduced in 2001. The Master Plumber Certificate was soon followed by similar programmes for Carpenters and Joiners. The model framework was adopted by the Construction Liveries Group (CLG) and became the pattern for further development of the Scheme. However, the principles involved apply to any sector and, in 2007, the CLG joined forces with the Livery Companies Skills Council (LCSC) in order to
advance the concept within the wider Livery movement.

After some 250 Master Certificates had been awarded, the Scheme was expanded to provide a progression route to encourage those who embark on a ‘Career Based on Skill.’ The first Apprentice and Journeymen Certificates were presented at a ceremony at Glaziers Hall in October 2008. The scheme achieved another step forward in June 2010 when Sheriff Peter Cook presented Certificates at Carpenters Hall at the first joint presentation ceremony involving the Carpenters, Lightmongers and Plumbers Companies.

The next major event took place at Charterhouse in March 2011, when for the first time the Lord Mayor, Alderman Michael Bear, presented the Certificates, which included [for the first time] two Journeyman Plasterers. In February 2012 at Plaisterers’ Hall, the Lord Mayor, Alderman David Wootton, presented Apprentice, Journeyman and Master Certificates awarded by the Glaziers, Lightmongers, Plaisterers, Plumbers and Paviors Livery Companies.

In February 2013 Sheriff Nigel Pullman presented certificates at Tallow Chandlers Hall, including an Apprentice Horner.

The Scheme continued to prosper and in 2014 four more Companies were welcomed on board – the Clockmakers, Wheelwrights, Wax Chandlers and Masons, with the Lord Mayor, Alderman Fiona Woolf, presenting the  certificates at Carpenters Hall.

Through Livery Companies’ engagement with the Livery Companies Apprenticeship Scheme (LCAS) seven new Companies have joined the Master Certificate Scheme. In 2014 the Worshipful Companies of Clockmakers, Wheelwrights and Wax Chandlers were the first LCAS Companies to participate in the Award Scheme and Master Certificates were awarded to those involved in training, assessing & mentoring LCAS apprentices recognising the experience and status of the Master Craftsmen responsible for training and assessing their apprentices.

In 2015, three more LCAS Companies joined the Scheme – the Coachmakers, Merchant Taylors and Upholders. In February, the Lord Mayor, Alderman Alan Yarrow, presented the Certificates at Saddlers’ Hall. One important objective of the Livery Companies Apprenticeship Scheme was to include the best of the participating apprentices in the Master Certificate Scheme when they have successfully completed their training. In this way, Masters, Journeymen and Apprentices will share a common bond of recognition through the Livery Companies.

In February 2016 certificates were presented by the Lord Mayor, the Lord Mountevans at Fishmongers Hall and recipients included two outstanding LCAS apprentices who had completed their apprenticeships – one Apprentice Certificate and one Journeyman Certificate.

In February 2017 certificates were awarded across eight Livery Companies and presented by the Lord Mayor, Dr Andrew Parmley at Merchant Taylors Hall. In February 2018 two new Companies will be joining the Scheme – the Furniture Makers and the Constructors – and more Journeyman and Apprentice certificates will be presented by the Lord Mayor, Alderman Charles Bowman, to LCAS apprentices who completed their training in 2016 and 2017.

Onwards, Upwards and Outwards

Other Livery Companies are preparing the way for more areas of skill to receive attention as together we strive for excellence and in due course, we hope to embrace the full range of activities encompassed by City of London Livery Companies.

For hundreds of years, the Livery Companies of the City of London have made an invaluable investment in the futures of their industries. Their experience and expertise have been inherited and developed by the modern Livery, a unique family with a common heritage of mutual respect and a desire to act in the best interests of the community.

Recognising excellence in our chosen vocation is a very practical way of maintaining and raising standards.

Contact Details:
Jo Mabbutt

07787 811091

An issue of increasing concern to the members was the lack of real progress towards a level playing field for those skills and trades on which small, often craft, businesses relied, and the particular absence of world class qualifications. The Livery Companies Apprenticeship Scheme was born out of this particular interest and the LCSC took the opportunity to submit an application to the Employer Ownership of Skills Pilot Scheme. Specifically LCAS was designed to test the feasibility of developing apprenticeships for specialised trades in small and micro businesses.

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07787 811091
Kirsty Lining Wheel Spokes  

Kirsty Thomson is now employed at the Royal Mews as Assistant Harness Maker and Carriage Restorer having gained a Distinction at the end of her apprenticeship.


David Davis completed his one year Flight Instructor Higher Apprenticeship in September 2017 with a Merit.


Richard Cooper

“Learning alongside my fellow apprentices was a fascinating and invaluable experience because it allowed me to gain an understanding of just how different individual set-ups are.” “Since embarking on my

Margaret Ginman

Wax Chandlers

“I would like to praise all concerned in this scheme (Bee Farming Apprenticeship). It has been particularly suited to apprentices in a rural environment.”

David Mortlock

Wheelwrights Court Assistant

“I believe the LCAS has created a spark of hope for the future of the Craft/Trade.  It has given the opportunity for Wheelwrights to pass on their skills and once