The LCAS Initiative



The Livery Companies Skills Council’s current focus is to encourage Government to channel funding to small and medium sized businesses and to sole traders in specialised disciplines linked to ancient and modern Livery Companies.


LCSC Objectives

  •     Promoting Excellence in Skills  
  •     Maintain Dialogue with Policymakers  
  •     Engage with Government bodies in setting standards
  •     Secure adequate funding for apprenticeships and vocational training 
  •     Strengthen Historic Links with City & Guilds


Problems LCSC wanted to solve

  •      no relevant national specialist qualifications in Livery disciplines
  •      lack of funding for specialist skills supported by the Livery
  •      no established Livery support organisation
  •      costs of supervising and training in the workplace
  •      small and micro-businesses’ lack of capacity to engage


In 2012 the Livery Companies Skills Council made a successful bid to the Government’s Employer Ownership of Skills Pilot Scheme to develop an innovative apprenticeship training scheme.


LCAS started the initiative to:

  • provide Livery Companies with qualifications enabling them to set world-class


  • develop an infrastructure to support the Livery Companies and also the employers, trainers and apprentices all over the country using an online monitoring and achievement recording system;
  • provide support for small and micro businesses to take on apprentices who would otherwise not be able to do so;
  • enable Livery Companies to reconnect with their trades, crafts and professions – sometimes in a creatively lateral fashion.


The Livery Companies Apprenticeship Scheme Ltd (LCAS) was established as a not-for-profit company in December 2012 to set up and administer the Scheme. A grant of £1.005m was awarded to fund the training of 52 apprentices through the LCAS Pilot Scheme, plus a further six apprentices were funded through The Glass Academy’s Scheme. The Government grant was to be match funded by pro bono inputs of at least £0.850m, in reality the pro bono contributions were substantially higher.  


The project was a fantastic success story, not only in creating training frameworks in some completely new areas allowing Livery Companies to directly influence the standards expected of an apprentice, but also in encouraging a number of employers to take on an apprentice for the first time and providing support for both parties.


There was 100% take up of the 52 apprenticeship places on offer through the Pilot Scheme with more requests than places available. 


In addition to the 52 apprentices appointed in sixteen trades within fifteen Livery Companies, 45 employers and trainers were involved spread around the country, 24 assessors worked on the quality and assurance of the scheme and 42 Mentors supported both apprentices and trainers.


The mentoring and support of both the apprentices and their trainers was a vital part of the scheme and the management of the apprentices was conducted through an online ePortfolio system, OneFile, which received the accolade of a Queen’s Award for Innovation in July 2017.


Twelve one-year apprenticeships were completed in 2015 and 22 three-year apprentices and one one-year higher apprentice were presented with their Achievement Certificates by The Rt Hon The Lord Mayor Alderman Dr Andrew Parmley in October 2017.

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The earlier 12 completing apprentices of one year apprenticeships had already received their Achievement Certificates from their respective Masters.


Running alongside but outside the Pilot Scheme, one extra one-year higher apprenticeship funded by a Livery Company and four three-year apprenticeships were also completed funded by employers.


Additional opportunities for our apprentices include the opportunity of two Glaziers apprentices to work on prestigious projects in some of the country’s great Cathedrals – Wells, Exeter, Worcester and Winchester Chapel; and travel abroad – Bee Farmer apprentices visited New Zealand, Japan and Nepal gaining valuable experience on bigger bee farms, and the two Wheelwrights apprentices spent a month in Colonial Williamsburg sponsored by the Wheelwrights Charity.


Through Livery Companies’ engagement with LCAS seven new Companies have joined the Master Certificate Scheme since 2014 – 16 Master Certificates have been awarded to those involved in training, assessing and mentoring LCAS apprentices.


Of the apprentices who did not complete their apprenticeships, over 50% are still in employment, six have completed a partial achievement and two took a different direction but obtained higher paid jobs.


The Pilot Scheme:

  • has stimulated interest in apprenticeship training across the Livery 
  • provided every Livery Company with opportunity to define its training qualifications
  • reconnected some Livery Companies with their traditional trades
  • provided funding to small business/sole trader for training
  • established a central Secretariat and built a huge body of knowledge
  • which will be of great use to the Livery and beyond in the future
  • has married tradition with 21st century technology in delivering world class apprenticeships all over the country


Moving forward, a number of LCAS Livery Companies continue to recruit apprentices through their outreach programmes; one Company currently has nine additional apprentices funded by a commercial sponsor and these are being supported by LCAS through their apprenticeships and some Companies will fund their future apprentices through their own charities. Another Company has developed a Level 5 Trailblazer Apprenticeship and others are involved in their respective Employer Groups developing a range of Trailblazers.


In order to draw down mainstream Government funding for all future apprenticeships, all qualifications including LCAS frameworks will have to be converted into Trailblazer standards.


In addition to a management service for extant apprenticeships, LCAS offers an advisory service to support those Livery Companies who wish to sustain their apprenticeships in the future or to develop their own new apprenticeships or the Government Trailblazers.

Where are they now?