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Friday August 26, 2016 
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City & Guilds An Old Kind Of New In Jamaica

Peter Kelly

Stick a pin. What is C&G? City and Guilds is a vocational qualification awarding body, based in the United Kingdom, but which has over 8500 approved institutions all over the world including the Caribbean. It offers more than 500 qualifications in some 28 specialty areas. Qualifications are designed in close consultation with employers so that they are recognised for progression into employment, higher education or professional development. 
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Is there anyone who still believes in the old myth that you cannot have a successful career – both financially and personally fulfilling - in non-academic jobs?

Breaking news is that the number of the craft millionaires on this year’s Vocational Rich List has grown significantly and there is even a billionaire in its midst.  Of course, this news is NOT out Jamaica or the Caribbean, YET!  However, even though this information comes out of the UK, it signals the encouraging upward trend for vocationally trained individuals and it completely dispels the old-time myth which has kept many people away from following their natural instincts towards the vocational.
Commenting on this Vocational Rich List, Head of City & Guilds International, Chris Humphries, says, “With all these entrepreneurs, vocational training has been their foundation for extraordinary financial and commercial success. Far from feeling hindered by a lack of academic qualifications, they have worked hard to gain practical skills at a young age, which they have used to their advantage.  These millionaires are a real inspiration to school leavers, especially those who choose not to go down the university route”.

On our local Jamaican scene, according to Marva Duncanson, representative of City & Guilds (C&G) in Jamaica, despite the presence of C&G in this country for over four decades, the programme has been mostly popular in technical high schools and among a select few external students. However, things are changing fast with C & G now becoming more widely available through more and more high schools, community colleges and public and private institutions.
Successes like that of Jamaican Audetta McClure (read below) have, in many ways spurred the renewed energy, focus and commitment of the organisation in Jamaica.

The head of the Jamaican extension of C & G, located at 21 Connelly Avenue, Kingston, agrees with C & G international that the skills challenges facing Jamaica are complex and becoming increasingly well understood. What is certain is that a policy of ‘more of the same’, or even of slow evolutionary improvements, will simply not produce the radical change in skills and productivity that is essential for personal development and for ensuring a more inclusive society for all citizens.
A Valid Alternative

At C&G, there is a choice for almost everyone. Prospective students can scope out a future from the baker’s dozen compiled by CHOICES. We have even highlighted our top 6!

  1. Animal Care, Agriculture & Horticulture – for those who are more countryesque, love the outdoors and don't like being stuck in an office.
  2. Business, IT & Administration – get a feel of more than just the everyday office and technical stuff. Turn on your creativity and boost the output of your own business or that of your employer.
  3. Catering & Hospitality - Everyone likes to eat and be looked after. That's why a job in the hospitality and catering industry is one that will last. C&G offers loads of courses from cookery and culinary arts, food and drink services, bar work and restaurant manager to kitchen supervisor and porter.
  4. Construction & Building - Not afraid of a bit of hard work and looking for a long-lasting, properly paid career? Then you could be just right for the construction industry.  It's not all about putting bricks on top of each other. There are loads of jobs in the construction industry, so you can have all the variety you can handle.
  5. Engineering & Manufacturing A C&G award in aerospace engineering gets you involved in the research, design, manufacture and maintenance of aircraft and even space vehicles. Jobs include work on airframes, hydraulics, engines and fuel systems and control and communications systems for planes, missiles, satellites and spacecraft.
  6. Hair & Beauty – With C&G certification you can be a beauty consultant, nail technician, make-up artist, hair stylist or beauty therapist. Getting off a to good start means having some proper qualifications to back up your skills. You can train on the job or at a college, whichever suits you best.

Rounding out the CHOICES Baker’s Dozen are;

  1. Management, Own Business & Leadership
  2. Media
  3. Motor Vehicles
  4. Retail & Fashion
  5. Sport & Recreation
  6. Travel & Tourism
  7. Working With Children


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