175 years of shaping smarter learning | NCFE

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175 years of shaping smarter learning

NCFE 175th anniversary logo

NCFE was born in 1848 from the belief that no learner should be left behind – and today, 175 years later, we’re proud to be continuing to take up this same cause with new energy.  

If you’ve got a story to share about NCFE, we’d love to hear from you – join in on socials using the hashtag #NCFE175. 

Watch – 175 years of shaping smarter learning

As we mark this occasion, we’re recognising the contributions of our fantastic partners, collaborators, leaders, colleagues, educators and employers that have helped us get to where we are today, through shaping smarter learning and helping to impact the lives of millions of learners. 

Key statistics 

1 years

We were born 175 years ago, way back in 1848


We've invested £1m through our Assessment Innovation Fund

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Outside the UK, we operate in 20 countries worldwide

Read more about NCFE’s social impact

Hear from our partners and customers… 

"NCFE works with great pride and integrity and care about this region and the skills of the people who live here, values that are equally as important to us as a Chamber. A huge congratulations to NCFE for reaching this incredible milestone!” – Michelle Wilcox, Senior Large Business Engagement Manager, North East England Chamber of Commerce 

NCFE has such a rich and long history of delivering social impact via education and skills. 175 years is such an amazing achievement to be delivering literally life-changing services to learners and communities. They’ve been providing 'levelling up' via education and skills since 1848 – I can't quite get my head around that! Talk about being cutting edge.” – Gavin O'Meara, CEO and Founder, FE News  

Our centre has worked with NCFE CACHE for over 20 years. During this time, our learners have benefited from the innovative range of qualifications which reflect their requirements. The support from every member of the NCFE team has been unwavering – the specialist staff go the extra mile and always put the learner first. ” – Liz Tulloch, Teacher in Early Years Education and Care, Bodmin College 

Our constant – our learners 

Help us to celebrate those that have been our constant throughout our history – our fantastic learners. Read about their achievements here: 

Apprentice of the Year winner 2023: Christopher Ademola

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Learner stories: "My main achievement has been getting into university"
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Against All Odds Aspiration Award winner 2023: Gabriella Fox


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Learner stories: "I enjoy just being me and being able to dance"

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In the last year:

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We've worked with over 4,500 providers

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We've certificated more than 375,000 learners

1 apprentices

We've supported 6,000 apprentices to complete EPA

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175 years of research and insight

To mark our anniversary, we’ve created a new Sector Spotlight series of reports that explore the current and future skills challenges across different sectors.

Alongside skills gaps and demand data, the reports feature contributions from sector experts, as well as the voices of those working on the frontline of their respective fields.

Our reports – which focus on the landscapes of the further education (FE), social care, early years and digital sectors - can be downloaded now.

Read our reports

Sector Spotlight: Further Education front cover

Sector Spotlight: Social Care front cover

Sector Spotlight: Early Years front cover

Sector Spotlight: Digital front cover

The NCFE museum

175 Museum 1
175 Museum 2
175 Museum 3
175 Museum 4
175 Museum 5
175 Museum 8


Want to learn more about our 175-year history?

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Our areas of expertise 

Since 1848, we’ve established ourselves as a leader in vocational and technical learning – one that serves to support learners from all backgrounds, of all ages, and who aspire to progress within a variety of different sectors. Find out more about our products, which have been shaped by almost two centuries of expertise:  

You can also read our latest news, research, opinion pieces and more by visiting our Media Centre. 

Finally... a big thank you! 

We’d like to say a huge thank you to every individual who has played a part in helping NCFE to shape smarter learning and impact the lives of learners here in the UK and across the world. 

Whether you’re a partner, collaborator, educator, provider, assessor or colleague – current or historic – we want to share our gratitude with you. 

NCFE colleagues talking at an all staff event

NCFE colleagues at an all staff event

NCFE colleagues at an all staff event