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Livery Companies Skills Council

Livery Companies Skills Council

The Livery Companies Skills Council (LCSC) evolved from an initiative in 1993 by the then Lord Mayor to establish a forum within the Livery to promote vocational and educational training and to represent the concerns of the Livery to Government and policy makers.

Our objectives are to serve the Livery by:

  • promoting excellence in skills
  • maintaining dialogue with policy makers
  • engaging with Government bodies in setting standards and creating sound training frameworks
  • securing adequate funding for apprenticeships and vocational training
  • providing advice on training and career development
  • promoting C&G Professional Recognition Awards
  • strengthening historic links with City & Guilds

Council meets twice a year and currently has 46 member Companies. City & Guilds is also represented as an associate. LCSC’s affairs are directed by a Management Committee comprising the Chairman and Vice Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and four other members elected/re-elected annually.

LCAS Initiative

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 standards
  • 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.

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.

Achievement Ceremony at Plaisterers Hall in October 2017
Certificates presented by The Rt Hon The Lord Mayor Alderman Dr Andrew Parmley

The Pilot Scheme

The pilot scheme:

  • 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/soletrader 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
  • married tradition with 21st century technology in delivering world class apprenticeships all over the country

A few Livery Companies continue to recruit apprentices through their outreach programmes and fund their apprentices through their own charities of via outside sponsorship. Another Company has developed a Level 5 Trailblazer Apprenticeship and others are involved in their respective Employer Groups developing a range of Trailblazers.

Master Certificate Scheme

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 and 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’ and the first Apprentice and Journeymen Certificates were presented in October 2008.

The Scheme continued to prosper and through Livery Companies’ engagement with the Livery Companies Apprenticeship Scheme (LCAS) seven new Companies joined the Master Certificate Scheme in 2014 when Master Certificates were awarded to those involved in training, assessing and mentoring LCAS apprentices recognising the experience and status of the Master Craftsmen responsible for training and assessing their apprentices.

One important objective of the Livery Companies Apprenticeship Scheme was to include the best of the participating apprentices in the Master Certificate Scheme. 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.

In 2020 we had the largest number of Livery Companies participating in the Scheme to date – 15 Companies – a testament to the successful growth of the Scheme, and for the first time, the ceremony was held at Mansion House with the Lord Mayor Alderman William Russell presenting 45 Master, Journeyman and Apprentice certificates. Master Certificate Awards Ceremony – Mansion House 2022 Certificates presented by The Rt Hon The Lord Mayor Alderman Vincent Keaveny

Master Certificate Awards Ceremony – Mansion House 2022
Certificates presented by The Rt Hon The Lord Mayor Alderman Vincent Keaveny

Other Livery Companies are preparing the way for more areas of skill to receive attention as together we strive for excellence. 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.

Guidance notes are available to assist Livery Companies in developing criteria for the three Award levels –Apprentice, Journeyman and Master. These notes also outline the responsibilities of participating Companies, details of certification and costs of participation in the Awards Ceremony.

Contact: Jo Mabbutt, Construction Liveries Group –