Forging the talent of tomorrow

The City and Guilds of London Institute
Trustees’ Annual Report
for the year ended 31 August 2018

Trustees’ Annual Report

Helping people achieve their potential through learning is core to what we do. Our purpose is the same today as it has always been: to help people, organisations and economies develop their skills for growth. Put simply, we develop skills that help people into a job, progress on the job, and move into the next job.

Chairman’s statement

140 years of skills evolution

We celebrate 140 years of trading since The City and Guilds of London Institute was founded in 1878, by the City of London Corporation and 16 Livery Companies ‘to protect and promote the standard of technical education’. The impact of this purpose on advancing the public interest led the Institute to be granted a Royal Charter by Queen Victoria in 1900.

The President of the Institute is Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, who is an active supporter of our work, hosting awards ceremonies and participating in events and discussions related to skills development.

Today, the Institute is the founding organisation of the City & Guilds Group and its businesses and is the awarding body for City & Guilds and ILM qualifications.

To allow us to continue to fulfil our Royal Charter responsibilities and stay true to our purpose, we continue to expand and diversify through exciting new acquisitions and investments in order to pioneer the future of skills development and the creation of more productive workforces.

I’m proud to be part of the City & Guilds Group and excited for what the future holds. Here’s to another 140 years.

Introduction from the Group Chief Executive

Forging the talent of tomorrow

Today we are a multinational organisation supporting the development of skills and knowledge of more than three million people every year, through training, assessment, elearning and learning technology.

I’m as sure as I can be that the demand for competency-based education will see strong long-term growth. I believe that because the desire for learning, for self-improvement, for the knowledge and skills to achieve our dreams and goals in life, is a universal human goal.

I believe it also because most governments and businesses understand that the education of their people and employees is what makes them competitive, and most people understand that education breeds prosperity and strengthens our societies.

The last ten years of our strategy has led to an organisation which is more stable and sustainable. Better positioned to deliver on its purpose in a market full of opportunity and possibility, as well as greater uncertainty and risk.

The future of work and education

Rapid advances in digitisation, automation and artificial intelligence will have a profound effect on the global workforce: 14% of us will need to switch jobs, and the skills companies require will change constantly[1].

The concept of a linear career, where you move from education into a job that then takes you through to retirement, is a thing of the past. Maintaining a career requires people to embrace change and a lifetime of learning.

We have a crucial role to play here to pioneer the new wave of demand-driven education. But, we need to think about our business differently.

Given this context, at the start of the year, I set out our 2020 ambition – to deliver our purpose with more impact, to more people – by focusing on the following goals:

Progress towards 2020

We’re well on track to achieving our ambition. Our businesses have supported more people and organisations to develop their skills for growth. And, through our social investments, we have awarded more bursaries and funded more programmes to help people into jobs.

By unifying our businesses and taking out duplicative costs, we have identified and actioned (or will action) efficiency measures delivering £10M of operational expenditure savings by 2020. We’ve also announced that we’ll be moving our head office and business support services into one building in London. These savings are providing the funding capacity for us to remain competitive and win in our markets.

Pride in our people

I’ve visited 13 of our offices around the UK and other key markets, from the US to Australia, and talked with around 900 employees. What struck me the most was how committed our people across the Group are to our purpose. I’m really proud that our purpose is something that connects our people and we all feel so strongly about.

I believe the City & Guilds Group can, and indeed will, emerge over the next decade as an important pioneer in demand-driven education and training. And, we’ll continue to deliver our purpose with more impact; supporting more people into a job, to progress on the job, and move into the next job.

[1] McKinsey research

Our people

Why we’re different

Our people are motivated by our shared purpose and they’re committed to our core values – leadership, imagination and integrity. Our 2017 Employee Engagement Survey reported that 83% of employees are committed to the Group’s purpose and believe in our core values. It’s one of the main reasons our employees love working for us. They guide the way we work, our products and services, and how we act each and every day.

Equality diversity and inclusion (EDI)

We believe that diversity makes us stronger and we’re committed to making sure everyone in the Group – regardless of gender, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, disability and background – has the same opportunities.

Our EDI programme has so far achieved the following:

  • Our job descriptions no longer ask for qualifications and we have signed up to ‘Ban the Box’, so applicants do not need to tell us about previous convictions, and ‘clean sheet’ which actively helps previous offenders into the workplace.
  • Partnering with Remploy to provide work placements for individuals with a disability.
  • Establishing Mental Health First Aiders who actively support colleagues when needed.
  • Collecting wider information about our staff and applicants, e.g. those with caring responsibilities, different gender associations, social backgrounds etc.

Gender pay reporting within the Group has also shown that the median pay gap has narrowed from 16% in 2017 to 9.3% in 2018, as a result of women being recruited or promoted into senior roles – 71% of all upward quartile moves and eight out of ten of the highest earning starters, were females.

We have continued to work with Remploy to provide work placements for people with disabilities who have found it difficult to find employment due to the many barriers they face. Four placements have been completed this year with one person being employed permanently following his two week work placement.

Recognising and rewarding talent

The Ampersand Awards provides us with the perfect opportunity to recognise and highlight the tremendous work our people do. There are four awards up for grabs, based on our three values and our purpose: imagination, integrity, leadership and pioneers in skills development. This year we received 144 nominations which were shortlisted to 12, including two nominations for the Ampersand Apprentice Award. All finalists are great examples of how our people really live and breathe our values and purpose in everything they do. They should all feel very proud of this achievement. The winners were announced at the Awards ceremony in September.

Helping people, organisations and economies to grow

To support us in achieving our 2020 ambition, we have reorganised our operations into three business areas to bring together brands with similar customers, products and services and market opportunities. We’ve done this to create more value for our customers through better collaboration, so we can deliver more impact, to more people.

Everything we do seeks to make a difference to individuals, communities and economies around the world. We reinvest any surplus our businesses make into the future of learning and skills development through strategic complementary acquisitions, investing in exciting new ventures, products and services, and funding sustainable social initiatives.

Investing in skills credentialing

It’s a challenging time for skills-based and technical education in the UK. Brexit on the horizon and employers struggling to recruit the skilled staff they need means quality technical education has never been more important to the future of UK Plc. This need to create a better skilled workforce that can adapt to the rapidly changing world of work is a global issue. We’re working with stakeholders internationally to develop skills programmes that allow for mobility of skills in migration corridors, as well as in-country progression and recognition. 

To achieve our 2020 goal to lead the market in apprenticeships and T levels, our focus has been on product investment, developing Technicals and winning UK Government tenders.

City & Guilds Technicals

We’ve developed 31 new level 2 Technical certificates with over 9000 learners registered, bringing the total number of our Technical qualifications (including KS5 level 3) to 102 – all of which appear on the 2020 performance tables. We now have 223 colleges running City & Guilds Technical qualifications, with nearly 20,000 learners registered.

Establishing our End Point Assessment (EPA) offer

We entered the EPA market in 2016 and now have the broadest EPA offer of all the awarding organisations, providing a full package of tools and support materials to make sure apprentices are able to achieve successful EPA outcomes. We have already secured a pipeline 12,000 assessment registrations for 2019.


New HMRC contract to deliver three standards

We won a new contract with HMRC to deliver EPA services to all civil service employers and government departments for Operational Delivery, Customer Services and Business Administration standards. Over the three year contract period, this is likely to deliver EPAs for up to 2000 apprentices across all three standards.

Sandra Aston, Head of Cross Government Operational Delivery Profession team at HMRC said: ‘We chose City & Guilds… because it’s a renowned learning organisation that is internationally known. And, for us it was important that we had an organisation we could trust. It really helped de-risk the process.’

Investing in new products and services

Digital credentialing

Digital credentialing helps people get the recognition they deserve by making all skills developed through study and work – not just qualifications – visible and shareable. It provides a broader picture than a certificate or a CV, and can easily be shared to professional profiles like LinkedIn, or embedded in CVs, websites or blogs. Crucially as people move through organisations and roles, their credentials travel with them, visible to prospective employers.


City & Guilds and global chefs’ network

Worldchefs scooped the top prize for innovation at the 2017 Federation of Awarding Bodies’ annual awards ceremony. The award was won as a result of the creation of an innovative new online tool that allows chefs to earn a globally recognised professional certificate without leaving the kitchen.


People have always migrated for work and we are seeing new migration corridors opening up all the time. Employers with an international and global footprint are looking for consistency in how they develop their people, no matter where they are operating in the world. Our new quality assurance and accreditation service – Assured – is proving successful in international markets, as employers seek to recognise their training programmes and provide some consistency.


We won a contract for consultancy and Assured work with the World Refugee Schools. Now in its second phase, the pilot aims to support six schools and up to 4000 students across the region. If approved, the aim is to roll out the operation to target between 250,000 to one million Syrian refugee children in Turkey, Jordan, Egypt and Northern Syria.​

Investing in corporate learning

Constantly evolving Learning & Development (L&D)

The evolution of the L&D market has accelerated quickly – transitioning from traditional elearning, to a much broader, experience-centred approach to digital learning, in just one generation. Today, as users want access to their learning from anywhere, all of the time, learning formats are employee-centric by design, shifting to micro-learning and real-time video as a result.

We work with the world’s leading businesses to deliver measurable impact on their performance. We do this through two major global brands: Kineo and The Oxford Group, delivering elearning and training programmes across six continents, in 64 countries and in over 30 languages.

To achieve our 2020 goal of making our activities more profitable so we can impact more people, we’ve focused on: creating synergies and efficiencies from bringing Kineo and The Oxford Group together, improving our margins, and setting the platform to deliver more of our revenues from products and subscription-based services on top of our custom and bespoke solutions.

All three of our corporate learning market segments – elearning, learning platforms and leadership and management development and assessment – continue to grow at strong double-digit levels across our key geographies – Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Americas.  

Investing in new products and services

Elearning and learning platforms

Companies continue to buy elearning that is bespoke to their requirements, as well as the large, off-the-shelf libraries that we now offer as a result of acquiring e3Learning in 2016 and have launched as Kineo Courses.

Kineo Courses is a library of over 350 unique elearning courses across a wide range of workplace topics. It is a simple solution to onboarding new employees, building new skills and helping change workplace behaviour. The courses have been built around learner needs with recognised subject matter experts, and endorsed by respected industry bodies.

The learning platform market is becoming increasingly sophisticated through machine intelligence and the application of analytic technologies to large quantities of learning data. Kineo US has capitalised on this in 2018, with large sales of learning platforms, blended with content solutions driving its strong growth, while Kineo UK grew sales in bespoke elearning content and learning platforms. In Kineo APAC, we’ve been focused on integrating e3Learning within the Kineo brand.

Leadership and management development

2018 was a transformational year for The Oxford Group. Work continues to drive higher margin and more profitable products with a focus on reorganising the business around our key strengths: Leading Transformation and Engagement, Accelerating Talent Development, Building Global Management Capability and Executive Coaching. We have also invested in our IT infrastructure, refreshing The Oxford Group brand, launching a new website, and the roll-out of new delivery and marketing materials.

A key benefit of working closely with Kineo has led to us enhancing The Oxford Group’s digital offer with the launch of a new Managing Change product, and many more products are planned for 2019.

Investing in specialist technical training

Research from Engineering UK[2] estimates that between 2014 and 2024, 1.24m graduate and technician core engineering jobs will arise as a result of both replacement demand (i.e. people leaving the labour force) and expansion demand (i.e. new jobs). But, given the supply of engineering talent coming from the educational pipeline through apprenticeships and higher education, an annual shortfall of at least 83,000 and up to 110,000 is expected.

Our Technical Training activities focus on cultivating the engineers and technicians of tomorrow, through technical education and skills training from apprenticeships to degree level programmes. We do this by partnering with engineering organisations to address skills gaps in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) industries. We believe that we have an important role to play in pioneering flexible skills solutions for key market segments which drive national growth and help more people into sustainable careers.

The acquisition of Gen2 – an OFSTED Outstanding training organisation, specialising in engineering and nuclear training – in 2017, was just the first step in our plans to grow this part of our business. Since then, we have successfully transitioned Gen2 to become the first City & Guilds Institute of Advanced Technology.

Gen2 is the largest training provider to the UK's civil nuclear decommissioning industry, working with the likes of Sellafield Ltd, Wood Group and Glaxo Smith Kline. It helps approximately 1300 apprentices and 250 students on advanced learning programmes and plays an active role in the community to engage and promote education and employment opportunities.

Gen2 has responded proactively to the major changes in the UK apprenticeship market by seizing the opportunity to move all available programmes over to the new standards. By doing so, we have been able to offer the latest, industry-led training products as well as access to potentially higher value government funding. We also introduced new apprenticeships, including Civils, Procurement and a suite of Degree Apprenticeship Programmes.

Gen2 was successful in securing approval to access the UK Government’s funding programme for smaller, non-levy companies, with an allocation of £340k being awarded. Other successful bids include: Cumbria County Council, ECITB and the NHS.

[2] engineeringuk

More impact to more people

One of the ways we invest the money our businesses make is through our social initiatives that maximise long-term public benefit through skills development.

Building better futures

In the last three years, we have supported over 500 young people through work experience placements and open days. Whilst we’re pleased with this number, we have refreshed our accredited work experience programme to focus on making more of an impact on the young people who need our support the most. As a result, nine young people from disadvantaged backgrounds took part in a six week paid internship across four of our UK offices. A further seven young people completed a two-week accredited work placement and 90 attended work experience open days, including 21 who have a registered disability.

Apprentice Connect

Apprentice Connect reaches out to young people in schools and colleges through a network of trained apprentices. The initiative has engaged with over 60,000 young people to date, and provided free communications skills training for apprentices from a range of organisations. In 2018, we joined the Livery Schools Link, a career speakers volunteering platform, to support us in increasing the reach and impact of Apprentice Connect. The Livery Schools Link works with Livery Companies and schools to help prepare young people for work.


Not everyone is able to afford to develop their skills and become financially independent. Through our bursary programme, we support hundreds of people to achieve their ambitions. We awarded 72 people with bursaries totalling just under £216,000. Our bursary fund makes a huge impact on changing people’s lives. A recent survey of 2015 bursary recipients revealed that 70% of those who responded said they had become financially independent as a result of receiving their bursary.

One applicant who was homeless at time of application stated: ‘I have already secured a job just off the back of the company knowing I'm enrolled onto the course, which has led to me being able to get my own flat with a friend. The bursary has already helped me so much before I've even gained the qualification.’


GivX measures the value an organisation contributes to the community by calculating the worth of their financial contribution and volunteering hours and gives them a score. We’re very proud to be a GivX25 winner – one of the top 25 highest contributors.

Skills Development Fund

Our Skills Development Fund allows us to work not just in the UK but across a number of countries where access to skills can be limited and limiting. Two new organisations were awarded funding in 2018 – SOVA and The Girls Network – taking the total to nine, amounting to £1.4m of funding.

The Girls Network is being awarded £101,140 over three years to support its work in connecting girls from the most disadvantaged communities throughout England with a mentor and network of female role models.

SOVA is being awarded £160,672 over three years to fund its project in partnership with Birmingham Youth Offending Service and West Midlands Police, which will support young people in the community who are at risk of offending and not engaged in education or training.

A further investment of £47,500 was also made to St Giles Trust which will support the roll out of the employability skills training to help get clients into meaningful employment.

Impact of the Fund

According to an independent impact analysis, conducted by Cranfield University, the Fund has directly contributed to our purpose by achieving the following:

  • 4554 people have been directly supported to develop their skills – this is double the number of people that the Fund directly impacted last year.
  • 18,172 indirect beneficiaries developing their skills.

Participants being supported through our Skills Development Fund are more than three times more likely to be employed at the end of the programme. On top of this, participants also have increased potential earnings: 30% increase in potential earnings for those in the UK, and 300% overseas.


The ripple effect: St Giles Trust

St Giles Trust has been able to train a cohort of peer advisors working with prisoners to support them into employment and reduce the risk of them reoffending. In this case, our funding of £100k to develop 30 peer advisors, actually led to 63 being trained and qualified who have worked with 105 ex-offenders (at the time of publishing the report). These ex-offenders are three times more likely to be employed which is estimated to be worth £6.5m in public value over three years.

Rewarding and encouraging excellence


The City & Guilds Group benefits from a supportive community of Fellows, individuals who have made a significant contribution to skills development and risen to the highest level of achievement in their respective careers. This community comes together to discuss and share experiences and encourage new collaborations around skills development. During the year we conferred 12 new Fellows, including the Rt Hon John Hayes, who spoke at our Annual General meeting.

Princess Royal Training Awards

The Princess Royal Training Awards recognise the measurable impact training has on UK organisations and their people. Among the 48 organisations – more than ever before – to achieve the standard in 2018 are River Island, John Lewis, RBS, the Royal Air Force and GSK.

A recent survey highlighted the impact the PRTA standard had on recipients’ business:

  • 88% say it has led to higher levels of staff retention
  • 77% say it helps with recruitment
  • 68% applied because they wanted to benchmark their training
  • 50% have seen an increase in investment in training in their organisation as a result of receiving the Award

A key aspect of the Awards is sharing best practice and building a community of employers committed to excellence in staff training and development. To date, 111 employers have achieved the standard of excellence. We launched the PRTA Alumni. Its purpose is to connect the community of PRTA recipient organisations and inspire individual members to advocate our purpose.