Jay Blades MBE appointed as Vice President of City & Guilds

City & Guilds has appointed award winning TV presenter, and one of the UK’s most well-known craftspeople, Jay Blades MBE, to the role of Vice President.

24 June 2023

In his new role Jay will act as an ambassador for skills, amplifying the message about the critical importance of vocational skills development to individuals and wider society.

Jay is known across the country as the host of several successful TV shows watched by millions of homes across the UK. His new role with City & Guilds unites his passion for the preservation of traditional craft skills with his belief in the transformative impact that skills-based education can have on people’s lives.

Since leaving school at the age of 15 with no qualifications and being diagnosed with dyslexia himself, Jay has spent much of his career supporting vulnerable people in society through community work and helping them gain the skills they need to thrive in the future. In the years ahead he will collaborate with City & Guilds to amplify the messages about the importance of skills-based education and the need to support people who face barriers to the workplace to gain life transforming skills.

As Vice President, Blades will champion City & Guilds’ efforts to bring skills to more people and unlock the power of skills development in helping more people into secure employment and improve their lives.

Dame Ann Limb DBE, Chair of City & Guilds said: “For years Jay has championed the power of skills-based education as a positive force in society and highlighted the continued importance of craft skills. He shares our passion for the importance of accessing workplace opportunities and will serve as an inspiration for current and future City & Guilds learners, making him a perfect fit for the role. We are so excited to work with Jay to shine an even brighter spotlight on the importance of skills-based education for both people and industries.”

On his appointment, Jay Blades MBE commented: “As someone who has experienced significant success in life thanks to the transformational impact of the skills I have learned, I am delighted to be working with City & Guilds as their Vice President to give others access to some of the opportunities I have had.

“Giving people the skills they need to thrive is particularly relevant as we find ourselves in a cost-of-living crisis with so many people struggling to make ends meet.  I truly believe in the power of skills-based education to unlock people’s potential and provide access to brilliant careers - in sectors from craft skills through to construction – that might not otherwise have been available to them. I am excited to see what I can do to support City & Guilds in their purpose to support people from all walks of life into meaningful vocational careers over the next three years!”

Jay Blades starts his role as Vice President of City & Guilds on 24 June 2023.