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 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.


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.

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.


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, LightmongersPlaisterers, Plumbers and Paviors Livery Companies.  

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

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 (LCAS) was to include 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 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 2018 we were delighted to welcome two new Companies to the Scheme, the Furniture Makers and Constructors.  The ceremony was at Glaziers’ Hall with the Lord Mayor Charles Bowman presenting 38 Master, Journeyman and Apprentice certificates to recipients from 14 Livery Companies including some LCAS apprentices who completed their training in 2016 and 2017. 

In March 2019 City & Guilds joined us for their Livery Company Prize Giving. These prizes are awarded for outstanding learner or tutor achievements to those who have achieved or delivered City & Guilds qualifications.  We also welcomed the Spectacle Makers to the Master Certificate Scheme and overall 22 Livery Companies participated in this event at Carpenters’ Hall with the Lord Mayor Alderman Peter Estlin presenting the C&G Prizes and Apprentice, Journeyman and Master Certificates.

The 2020 ceremony was truly memorable in more ways than one – it was the largest to date and for the first time the event was hosted by Mansion House.  City & Guilds collaborated with us again for their Livery Company Prize Giving and the Lord Mayor Alderman William Russell presented 10 C&G Livery Company prizes and 45 Apprentice, Journeyman and Master Certificates across 23 Livery Companies in the magnificent Egyptian Hall.  The Lord Mayor was accompanied by both Sheriffs, Alderman Professor Michael Mainelli and Christopher Hayward CC, and it was inspiring to hear so many talented award winners pledging their endeavours to mentor and train the next generation.

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.

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.

Click here to download the latest LCSC Flyer

Where are they now?