Million Extra - One Year On

Million Extra progress on creating new apprenticeships

06 April 2012

City & Guilds launched the Million Extra campaign in February 2011, with the aim of creating a million new apprenticeships. A year on and City & Guilds has made substantial steps towards meeting this challenge.

In February 2011, City & Guilds launched the Million Extra campaign, an audacious project that aimed to encourage employers, industry bodies, government agencies and training providers to collaborate in order to create one million new apprenticeships by summer 2013.

Since then, the Million Extra campaign has seen City & Guilds working at both a national and local level to help tackle the obstacles holding up apprenticeships in the UK.

Building Business: Economic Growth through Apprenticeships

City & Guilds brought employers and training providers together for its first ever Apprenticeships Summit – Building Business: Economic Growth through Apprenticeships, which took place at London’s ‘Gherkin’ at the start of National Apprenticeship Week 2011.

In partnership with Business in the Community (BITC), the event hosted representatives from 13 industry sectors, with entrepreneur and Vice-Chairman of West Ham United Football Club Karren Brady acting as a key note speaker. ‘Apprenticeships can build the economy, but employers need to hire apprentices,’ said Brady.

Following the national event, City & Guilds held a series of regional summits that identified several key areas for improvement, including the need for increased support for apprentices and employers, clearer apprenticeship progression routes, and appropriate levels of Key and Functional Skills for school leavers.

Addressing everyone’s needs

With City & Guilds identifying careers guidance as a key barrier for would-be apprentices, it developed – an online portal that gives learners the chance to see the breadth of vocational careers available.

On the employer side, City & Guilds set up a new business arm, City & Guilds for Business, which aims to support employers with all aspects of skills development, including simplifying the way businesses run apprenticeship schemes.  

City & Guilds for Business works with over 180 employers, a vast majority of which run apprenticeship schemes. The collaboration between City & Guilds for Business and Asda demonstrates the partnership model in action, with employees able to gain qualifications from entry-level work experience accreditation through to a retail degree.

National Apprenticeship Week 2012

National Apprenticeship Week 2012 provided an opportunity to further emphasise the value of apprenticeships. A series of guides were put together for employers, both large and small, as well as for colleges and private training providers to help them engage with more employers.

City & Guilds also released a new research report, The Economic Value of Apprenticeships. The report highlights how achieving the Million Extra target would generate a further £459 million per annum for the UK business, totalling £4.37 billion by 2020.

Heading to success

When Million Extra launched, Chris Jones, CEO and Director General of City & Guilds said: ‘Securing a million apprenticeship placements is not the end goal. Our long-term goal is a stronger, more sustainable economy that can shine on the global stage through apprenticeships.’

A year on since the campaign started and this goal looks attainable. City & Guilds is well-placed to ensure that apprenticeships are fit for purpose, represent good value for employers and subsequently become key to business and economic growth.


Our research reveals that three quarters of young people demand skills-based training to achieve their ambitions Read full research article