City and Guilds Group prioritises employee financial education in challenging times

When the pandemic hit UK businesses, City and Guilds Group was quick to respond. The skills development organisation which offers qualifications and apprenticeships across a variety of sectors, employs just over 1,000 people in the UK.

City and Guilds has taken advantage of the government’s furlough scheme, topping up people’s salaries to 100%. It was also aware that adjusting its financial education strategy would be key.

Ricardo D’Ash, senior reward manager at City and Guilds, says: “Our group chief executive has two clear objectives: one is to look after the staff, including their financial wellbeing, and the other is to make sure the company survives going forward.”

City and Guilds uses financial wellbeing platform Nudge, which delivers tailored financial education via a variety of channels, including via email and mobile. “We know our employees are really benefitting from Nudge,” says D’Ash. “As we’ve gone through the months of the pandemic, we have nudged people to remind them that [the platform] is there for them.”

The organisation has also updated its reward booklet to remind employees about the platform, and reinforced the message that the Nudge scheme is constantly available, especially when sending out regular messages about the closure of the window for the annual employee benefits scheme.

People’s areas of interest have shifted in the pandemic, which D’Ash and his colleagues have been monitoring through reporting. They are seeing more queries about the government support available and avoiding scams, among other areas, he says.

To help answer the most common questions, City and Guilds plans to introduce a series of personalised nudges, platform posts and masterclasses from January 2021 to further improve people’s understanding of their finances. Life after work, mortgages and insurance are all potential future topics for the programme.