The Company of
Cutlers in Hallamshire Since 1624

Education and Community Involvement

Education For Work

Passport Presentation 2021 –
Better Learners,
Better Workers.

In recent years, the main engagement with local schools was through Members and Freemen of the Company whose involvement varied.  Some were governors and others were involved in various projects to improve education.  Recently there has been a great deal of criticism that schools do not provide young people with the skills to enter the workplace.

In 2010, the Master Cutler, Bill Speirs, agreed with Sheffield City Council that the Company would endeavour to connect schools more firmly to business in general and manufacturing in particular.  A study was conducted into what business needed from school leavers and as a consequence of the findings, the Cutlers’ “Made in Sheffield” project was launched.  This was intended to embed work skills into the curriculum through real life projects, work placements, internships, and greater engagement between businesses and schools.  A Cutlers’ “Made in Sheffield” Passport was issued to those who had successfully completed the project.  This  showed the work and real life skills that they have gained and it was signed off both by school staff and employers.

To put this into practice, the Master Cutler for 2011/12 instituted an Education Standing Committee comprising Members of the Company, representatives from the City Council and Work-wise (the organization chosen to provide the bridge between business and schools).

A pilot scheme ran for two years and proved to be a resounding success,  being extended from Engineering to various other sectors including the NHS and Construction.

In 2016 the project was expanded across South Yorkshire and with financial assistance from the Careers and Enterprise Company, 27 schools were engaged in what has now been re-named the ‘Better Learners Better Workers’ Scheme.


More details are available at


The Company and Education

The Company of Cutlers has taken an interest in education since its creation. Part of the process of controlling makers’ marks in the very early days of the Company was ensuring that apprentices were properly and appropriately trained. All apprentices had to be able to read and write.

The Company has been involved in various initiatives but the long standing Joint Awards Scheme has been run in conjunction with the Worshipful Company of Armourers and Brasiers from London since 1926.  In 1924, the Cutlers’ Company received a gift from the Armourers & Brasiers of £300 to help Sheffield traders ‘combat foreign competition’.  Over time it evolved into the competition held today. This event,  first held over 90 years ago, is currently to encourage young people ‘to discover improved methods’ and to broaden their horizons.  Awards are given in the following three categories.

  • These are:
    Engineering Awards:  Open to engineering apprentices and students at Sheffield Hallam University and local industry.
    Design Awards:  Open to design students at Sheffield Hallam University.
    Pontifex Awards: Open to young trainee managers in the steel industry.  This is named after a Past Master of The Worshipful Company of Armourers & Brasiers.


The report for the Joint Awards, 2019, is in the Annual Review, 2018-2019





The Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire
The Cutlers' Hall
Church Street
S1 1HG

Tel: +44 (0) 114 272 8456