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    MPs and business figures have spoken out about the educational experiences that changed their lives in support of a new campaign designed to celebrate skills development.

    The City & Guilds Groups’ #MySkillsStory campaign, which launches today, has been backed by two MPs who are also former apprentices: Jim McMahon, Labour MP for Oldham West and Royton and Chris Williamson, Labour MP for Derby North.

    The project aims to showcase how skills development can benefit individuals across all walks of life whether it’s getting the qualification needed for a dream job or improving at a hobby or leisure activity.

    Over the coming weeks, The City & Guilds Group will be encouraging people of all ages and in a range of careers to share their skills stories to highlight how diverse training and skills development can be. Stories can be submitted on social media as tweets, Instagram or Facebook posts, using anything from video to infographics and photos to the written word, with the aim of building a fuller picture of the impact skills can have on anyone’s life.

    Speaking about his experiences in a video submission to the campaign, Jim McMahon said that becoming an apprentice at Manchester University had been the turning point in terms of what he thought he could achieve from his career.

    Jim McMahon2 100x100Jim McMahon, Labour MP for Oldham West and Royton said: “I earned a qualification. But more than that, it gave me a real sense of confidence in myself, and belief that I could be whatever I wanted to be, and in some ways that’s how I came into politics. So for all the people that believed in me, for people at the college, at the hospital, at the university where I worked, I hope to return the belief that they’d shown in me by making change happen down here.”

    Chris Williamson Labour MP for Derby North added: “When I first got my first qualification with City & Guilds it was a tremendous boost to me because I’d never really succeeded at anything before that and here we are all these years later and I eventually found myself as a Member of Parliament. Getting that first qualification really gave me the confidence to feel that I could succeed. So I would urge anybody thinking about a career in the building trade, or any occupation for that matter to stick at it, it’s well worth it.”

    Commenting on the launch of the campaign, Chief Executive of City & Guilds Group, Chris Jones said: “It’s great to see so many people sharing their stories about how learning new skills have helped them achieve their goals, whether that’s in education or employment. The City & Guilds Group are committed to championing skills development across the world and I want to encourage everyone to keep sharing their stories with us to continue to celebrate these successes.”

    The City & Guilds Group will be bringing all these skills stories together on a webpage and awarding the best ones each month with a digital badge from digital credentialing services business DigitalMe, to celebrate their skills achievements.

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