City & Guilds CEO Concludes Successful Tour of the Caribbean

Visiting Jamaica and Barbados

Chris Jones, City & Guilds’ Director General and Group CEO concluded a brief visit to the Caribbean which included visits to Jamaica and Barbados.

While in the Region, Mr Jones had meetings with a number of senior officials including Jamaican Minister of Education, Rev. the Hon. Ronald Thwaites JP MP, Barbados’ Minister of Industry, Small Business and Rural, The Hon. Denis Kellman, MP, and Barbados’ Acting Prime Minister, the Hon Richard Sealy, MP. Meetings were also held with the British High Commission in both countries.

In Jamaica, during a reception held in his honour at the Terra Nova Hotel on Wednesday 20 June, Mr Jones stated that City & Guilds is “committed to making our extensive portfolio and over 130 years of knowledge and experience available to the Government, training institutions and learners of Jamaica and the Caribbean.” He clarified for those who may wonder how City & Guilds could sound so altruistic, “the answer is simple. City & Guilds is a charity with a single purpose which is to enable people and organisations to develop their skills for personal and economic growth.”

Mr Jones suggested that globally, “we are at a critical moment for learning. In a period of prolonged global economic uncertainty, the traditional routes to learning, employment and career progression are being challenged. Whereas in the past, terms like ‘technical’, ‘vocational’ and ‘applied’ were perceived as lesser offerings, learners are realising that technical and vocation education connects ‘knowing’ and ‘doing’. Similarly, employers are also becoming more aware of this and increasingly seeking workers who have both knowledge and skills.”

At the reception, the Education Minister Reverend Ronald Thwaites commended City and Guilds for elevating technical and vocational studies in Jamaica and certifying Jamaicans for the benefit of the country and the export market. City & Guilds Caribbean Manager Guy Hewitt also clarified that City and Guilds was not in competition with other technical and examination bodies but was seeking to collaborate with the regional and national training agencies in the Caribbean for the development of the region.

Mr Jones’ visit to Jamaica coincided with the sitting by 10,000 Jamaican Grade 11 High School students and those enrolled in the Career Advancement Programme in City & Guilds Numeracy and English examinations on 21 June 2012.

During his visit to the region, Mr Jones also presided over the launch of the Institute of Leadership and Management’s Caribbean Programme at the Hilton in Barbados on 25 June. The Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM), a member of the City & Guilds Group and the UK and Europe’s leading professional association for leaders and managers, supports, develops and informs leaders and managers at every stage of their careers. With over 30 specialist qualifications in the portfolio ILM offers an exceptional breadth of programmes – to meet the development needs of leaders and managers at every level and across all professional sectors.

Speaking at the ILM Launch, The Hon. Denis Kellman, Minister of Industry, stated the ILM Programme “has the capacity to develop the type of leaders needed for the future and at all levels of the business spectrum. Further, I’ve noticed that the Programme is not strictly an academic programme, but has built in dynamism and flexibility to ensure that having pursued any of its modules, one is assured to leave with the requisite skills to get the job done and to do so, both efficiently and effectively,” he added. In his capacity as Minister for Small Business, Mr Kellman was indicated a strong interest in the entrepreneurship qualification that could be pursued by secondary school students which would given them both an orientation towards business and self-employment and also an additional certificate on leaving school.

Mr Jones also met and briefed Barbados’ Acting Prime Minister, Richard Sealy, MP on City & Guilds’ qualifications including engineering, construction and hospitality & culinary arts. The Acting Prime Minister was particularly interested in the City & Guilds ‘ordinary level’ offerings in tourism and customer service for both workers and school students. He acknowledged that Barbados’ future resided in the services sector and noted that “Cave Hill [University of the West Indies] cannot do it alone and this is where City and Guilds would come in to take tertiary education to the next level”.

Mr Jones was last in the Caribbean in April 2011 when City & Guilds strengthened its commitment to the region with the opening of our Barbados-based, Caribbean Office. The regional office, supported by representative offices in Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago, coordinates City & Guilds’ strategy to support the development and wide availability of technical, vocational, managerial and leadership skills. He was accompanied on his visit by Mr Mike Dawe, City & Guilds Board Member and Director of International and Regional Manager for the Caribbean, the Reverend Guy Hewitt.

City & Guilds has over 8500 centres and training providers in 81 countries, offering more than 500 qualifications across 28 industries. In 2011 City & Guilds awarded approximately 1.9 million certificates worldwide. To offer the broadest possible range of vocational qualifications and the most in-depth research into skills, the City & Guilds Group also includes the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM), City & Guilds Land Based Services and City & Guilds Centre for Skills Development.

For more information on all City and Guilds qualifications