Introducing the newly formed Young Learner Advisory Team

by Sep 14, 2023City & Guilds initiatives, News, News & events

In a bold step towards ensuring that learners experience and perspectives are at the heart of key decision-making processes here at City & Guilds, we are pleased to introduce the newly formed Young Learner Advisory Team.

This team will provide an ‘active voice’ and a ‘listening ear’ across the City & Guilds business and comprises of seven diverse, bright and enthusiastic individuals – all of them also being current and previous vocational learners with qualifications in a range of fields from Civil Engineering to Digital & Technology Solutions to Tailoring!

Listening to the learner voice

Last year, we were tasked by our CEO Kirstie Donnelly, supported by the Trustee Board, to identify individuals that would form a “Young Learner Advisory Team”.

As an organisation all about supporting skills development, the real value and purpose of this team would be to allow the ‘voice of the learner’ to be heard at the highest level – helping our Executive and Trustee Board understand the experiences, challenges and views of those young learners at the very heart of the business.

Over the last six months, the search has been extensive. We have reached far and wide, across a variety of industries, levels and from across the UK in the hopes of finding the right young people. Our ideal candidate being a current or recently qualified vocational learner, with a passion and interest in personal development and learning.

We are happy to report that as of August 2023, we have appointed seven enthusiastic individuals to the Young Learner Advisory Team. Please meet Tanaka Whande, Melissa Robinson, Princess Sebastiao, Ryan Hull, Robert Cotter, Kira Foster and Jarrishan Rajendran.

Here’s what some of them had to say about what they hope to achieve and the legacy they want to leave at City & Guilds:

“I hope to establish a platform that that promotes diversity, inclusivity, and equal opportunities for all youth, that will provide a legacy of positive change and progress that will continue to shape society for generations to come.” Ryan Hull

“I want to make a positive difference to the way the learners, teachers, and the board operate in the City & Guilds space, which will (fingers crossed) make it more accessible to leaners everywhere, from every socioeconomic background” Kira Foster

“I want to leave a legacy of knowing that my experience and advice has helped just one learner! I’m very passionate about making an impact and sharing what I wish I knew earlier with others.” Melissa Robinson

The first of its kind for City & Guilds organisation

This Young Learner Advisory Team is the first of its kind for our organisation and marks a significant milestone in our institution’s history. One of the core objectives of the Team is to amplify the voices of learners – creating a bridge for connection and collaboration.

Speaking about the appointments Dame Ann Limb, our Trustee Board Chair, said:

“The voice of young minds is integral to helping shape the future of education. Through our Young Learner Advisory Team, we hope to amplify a distinct learner voice at a Trustee Board level to ensure that their lived experience is at the heart of all key decision making.”

And our CEO, Kirstie, said:

“The Young Learner Advisory Team is a great opportunity for young people to build on their existing skills and experience – ultimately contributing to their own personal development – whilst also making a real difference for City & Guilds by providing their insights and unique experiences. We’re so proud to have them helping the organisation become even more the inclusive, insightful and impactful organisation that we strive to be”

They have an exciting and challenging task ahead, and we’re excited for the next few months! 🎉

More Information to follow.

Young Learner Advisory Team, from Left to Right: Jarrishan Rajendran, Tanaka Whande, Melissa Robinson, Ryan Hull, Kira Foster, Rob Cotter and Princess Sebastiao

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