In recognition of their shared commitment to the preservation of heritage craft skills, City & Guilds and The Prince’s Foundation have today announced a new partnership which will see students on a variety of the charity’s training courses receive internationally recognised qualifications accredited by the global leader in skills development.
Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Princess Royal attended a celebration at Dumfries House in Ayrshire that recognised the first students to graduate from courses run by The Prince’s Foundation with accreditation from City & Guilds.
HRH The Princess Royal, President of City & Guilds, joined HRH The Prince of Wales, President of The Prince’s Foundation, to congratulate the first cohort of the charity’s students to graduate with City & Guilds awards. The recipients are all members of the Dumfries House Sewing Bee, which has been running since 2016 and aims to establish a community of sewing practitioners in the local community.
Over the coming months and years, students undertaking training with The Prince’s Foundation in a range of curriculum areas including hospitality, fashion and textiles, and traditional building craft skills will work towards City & Guilds awards. Accreditation by City & Guilds is a globally recognised benchmark of quality for bespoke hands-on training programmes that enable students to graduate with formal awards.
Simon Sadinsky, Executive Director of The Prince’s Foundation, said: “At The Prince’s Foundation, we offer a diverse range of innovative and inspiring education and training programmes for all ages and backgrounds, from traditional arts and heritage craft skills, to architecture and design, science, engineering, horticulture, wellbeing and hospitality.
“We are delighted to add City & Guilds to our established suite of qualifications partners. This will enable us to offer qualifications in curriculum areas which do not currently benefit from formal recognition and will provide us with the opportunity to ensure that learners on many more of our programmes are able to be recognised for the skills they have developed. Many of those that have gained these awards have been part of our learning community for a number of years and initially joined us with no expectation of a qualification. That they have now gained an accredited qualification is a testament to the positive impact that this collaboration will have on many of our valued students.”
Michael Osbaldeston, Special Adviser and Skills Ambassador for City & Guilds said: “For more than 140 years, City & Guilds has recognised countless individuals who have developed their skills to a set standard. We look forward to working with The Prince’s Foundation and being able to broaden the range of City & Guilds courses available.
“To achieve success demands excellent tuition and dedicated tutors who nurture their students, and the fulfilment of their work will be celebrated today. As City & Guilds Special Adviser and Skills Ambassador, I have had the privilege of travelling the world and seeing the best of skills practitioners and training facilities. None would rival what The Prince’s Foundation has created at Dumfries House nor the passion shared by those who work and learn there. Seeing is truly believing.”
Among the graduates was 74-year-old Reece Wilkie from Cumnock, who has created her own fashion and interiors collection, including dresses, jackets and cushion covers made from recycled clothing, during her time on the Sewing Bee. She said: “When I first joined the group, I hadn’t picked up a needle and thread for about 30 years. It took a while before I became confident enough, but now I’m making a whole host of garments and homeware and applying lining, invisible zips and appliqué to my work. My attention to detail in sewing is so much better now.”
She continued: “I have really enjoyed working towards my City & Guilds qualification. I never thought I would be able to gain a qualification at this stage in my life and doing so makes me feel incredibly proud.”
As part of the ceremony, Director of HMP Kilmarnock Craig Thomson FCGI was awarded The Prince Philip Medal in recognition of him dedicating more than 30 years advocating for innovative skills training in prisons as the proven pathway to reducing re-offending. The medal was instigated by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh to recognise those who, as he described, had walked the City & Guilds path.
Alison Strachan was the proud recipient of The President’s Award, having established the Queen’s Bindery Apprenticeship Scheme at Windsor and worked with Help for Heroes at Tedworth House through her chairmanship of Bound by Veterans.
Peter Taylor MBE FCGI, Director of The Goldsmiths’ Centre, and Reginald Hankey FCGO, CEO of Pittards plc, were all also named Fellows of The City and Guilds of London Institute in recognition of how they embody the organisation’s core values of leadership, imagination and integrity and have impacted their respective industries.
The Prince’s Foundation provides holistic solutions to challenges facing the world today. It champions a sustainable approach to how we live our lives and build our communities, runs a diverse programme of education and training for all ages and backgrounds, and regenerates and cares for places where communities thrive and that visitors enjoy, The charity works nationally and internationally but at the heart of the organisation is the heritage-led regeneration of the Dumfries House estate and its wider community, where its principles and philosophies are explored and put into practice.
For more information on The Prince’s Foundation and Dumfries House please visit dumfries-house.org.uk.