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March 22nd, 2018 : The Royal Geographical Society, London

Kirstie Donnelly MBE

Managing Director, City & Guilds

Time: TBC

Jobs for Life

Kirstie is the Managing Director of City & Guilds and joined in 2011. She has worked at the forefront of skills and education sector for over 25 years.

Throughout her career Kirstie has spearheaded the development of award winning products and services across the adult and consumer learning market place and is a passionate advocate of the role of digital and social media in transforming how people live, learn and work. Her commitment to this area was recognised when she was awarded an MBE in the Queens Honours for her services to e-learning in the FE/Adult sector.

Kirstie's career highlights include nine years with learndirect where she was Director of Products and Marketing and created the first large scale brand and online offer in the provision of adult learning. She also transformed Video Arts, a VHS training business, into an online digital business, produced a range of award winning DVD and e-learning training products and created a first of its kind ‘virtual chamber of commerce' for Manchester Training & Enterprise Council.

Kirstie has helped to shape policy around e-learning in the UK and was part of the David Blunkett Task Force Group that established the Green paper: ‘Learning Age', she was an active member of the Race Online 2012 campaign and part of the Government's ICT review and the European Commission Review Team.

In 2014 Kirstie was appointed as a commissioner on the future of apprenticeships for a commission chaired by Lord Glasman and Robert Halfon MP. In that same year she also set up the City & Guilds' UK Industry Skills Board, bringing together a range of employers (members includes TUI/Thompson, Compass Group, Laing O'Rourke, McDonalds) and sectors to inform the development of a quality model for apprenticeship reforms.

She is also a Fellow of Royal Society of Arts.

Session Overview

Jobs for Life

Kirstie Donnelly, Managing Director of City & Guilds, explores the key transitions in people's career journeys – from starting out in your first job through to learning new skills and embarking on a new career post-retirement age. She will look at the skills we need in the modern workplace when grandparents are now competing with their grandchildren for opportunities, and the importance of life-long learning to stay employable.

Joining Kirstie will be three people who represent the different generations currently in the workplace – from an apprentice starting out in their career through to an older worker who has needed to retrain to remain in employment. They will be discussing the challenges they have faced in entering or progressing in the workplace and how skills have helped to overcome these challenges.

Kirstie and the panel will look at attitudes to different generations in the workplace and some of the common misconceptions. The panel will explore some of the measures that employers need to put in place to get the most out of an age-diverse workforce.