How we work

The Foundation is a catalyst for providing opportunities in the world of skills and work. We amplify the work of City & Guilds by removing barriers to getting a job, celebrating best practice on the job, and advocating for jobs of the future.

How we

How we

How we

How we


How we work

Our goal is to drive lasting and meaningful social change, directly deliver the wider organisation’s charitable purpose and support the City & Guilds mission by delivering value back to the business. In order to consistently deliver disproportionate impact, we remain focused on where we invest money and time, ensuring the outcomes we achieve have as wide a reach and create as great a ripple effect as possible.

We are dedicated to providing support to people facing barriers or disadvantage, offering opportunities for relationship building, creating maximum reach, establishing clear links to skills development and being measurable. We promote change through social investment, awards and recognition, and advocacy and networks.

Start with socioeconomic drivers

We identify a current economic or social challenge.

Confirm we are meeting strategic aims

Does supporting this group of people or agenda align with our organisational strategy, as well as our purpose?

Consider opportunities to provide agile support

Can we keep abreast of opportunities for us to provide ad-hoc, tactical support?

Review potential for systems change

By addressing the challenge, is it an area where we could then deliver long-term societal impact?

Confirm if there is a timely need

Is it within our remit and power to make a genuine difference in the short term?

Review additional support opportunities

Do City & Guilds have services, products or networks that can help us address the challenge?

How we fund

Social investment is central to what we do and involves developing strategic partnerships that ensure the provision of funding and support for those with barriers to develop skills for work. 

This enables us to help people to secure and sustain employment, enhance opportunities for labour market progression and meaningful employment and change lives, whilst also meeting the needs of society.

Funding recipients move through the funding lifecycle and become legacy partners. Where we identify value in continuing support, we may opt to fund a partner over the span of several years at a lower level of investment.

Our funding activities include our bursary programme which supports individuals in genuine financial need to access training programmes to upskill, our Future Skills Commission for Prisons which aids organisations delivering employment support for offenders, and other socially-centred programmes such as pro bono work.

I am so proud of the programmes and projects we have funded. Skills development is at the heart of what City & Guilds does and through the Foundation we have focused our funding on supporting those people who face barriers, as we firmly believe these shouldn’t exist. We know that our funding is making a real difference with those who need it most, and we all love nothing more than building those valuable relationships with our charity partners and funded individuals, and seeing them go on to flourish.

Polly Rowe

Senior Impact, Programme and Engagement Manager, City & Guilds Foundation

How we celebrate

Dedicated to recognising and rewarding quality and excellence, the City & Guilds Foundation promotes the acknowledgement, appreciation and celebration of individuals and organisations who demonstrate commitment and investment in skills development.

Via an assortment of prestigious awards that honour employers, City & Guilds employees, learners and tutors, the Foundation uses the power of celebration to promote learning in and for work, recognising and rewarding quality, excellence and outstanding results, whilst also sharing best practice and inspiring change.

Our awards include the Princess Royal Training Awards which recognises employers who have created outstanding training and skills development programmes resulting in exceptional commercial benefits and the Ampersand Awards which value and celebrate City & Guilds staff. Special awards such as the Prince Philip Medal, the President’s Award and the Livery Company Awards recognise and reward learners and tutors who have achieved excellence as a result of City & Guilds qualifications.

One of the highlights for me is bringing together such a wide range of organisations each year as part of our Princess Royal Training Awards. It really highlights just how much these Awards mean to all of those employers who apply, and to our President, HRH The Princess Royal as well. From big corporates to small charities – the one thing they have in common is their dedication and commitment to delivering outstanding learning and development programmes.

Lan Che

Awards Manager, City & Guilds Foundation

How we advocate

Motivated by our commitment to share knowledge and drive forward skills for growth, we work with thousands of organisations, generate industry relationships and bring together networks.

Our advocacy work has been agile and responsive to pressing needs such as the COVID-19 pandemic, Black Lives Matter and the mental health crisis and we continue to challenge ourselves to ensure our programmes are fit for the future.

We established the Foundation Collective to provide a platform to bring people together who share a belief in the transformative potential of skills development whilst providing a valuable source of inspiration, support and guidance. The Collective delivers opportunities for professional relationships to grow, skills and ideas to be shared and developed, collaborative projects to be created, and a passion for work and skills development to flourish.

Engaging with young people and offering them opportunities early on is vital in helping them to identify their interests and strengths. This ultimately enables them to sustain employment throughout their working lives. It’s great to see our networks embracing these opportunities and equipping young people with the skills needed for the future.

Lauren Roberts

Advocacy Lead, City & Guilds Foundation

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