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Britain’s vocational “skillionaires” – revealed

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The City & Guilds Vocational Rich List 2011 features big names from a variety of industries, who have built their fortunes following an apprenticeship or other practical qualification.

Defying the downturn, the City & Guilds Vocational Rich List 2011 shows Britain’s self-made, vocational elite are worth a collective £17.6bn a billion pound increase since 2008.

Analysis of the list shows just how wrong Lord Sugar who recently commented that he’s yet to meet an engineer “who can turn his hand to business” truly is. Twenty-four of the top 100 vocational self-made millionaires have made their fortune following an engineering apprenticeship. The list includes Sir Anthony Bamford, the JCB billionaire, who saw his family fortune shoot up to £2.2bn this year, putting him in pole position.

Dragons’ Den judge and leisure industry magnate Deborah Meaden (position 63) adds a boost to the number of women on the list with her self-made fortune valued at £40m. Meaden is one of a handful of well-known women, including fashionistas Linda Bennett, founder of LK Bennett (position 41), City & Guilds qualified Karen Millen (position 63) and Stella McCartney and cook and food writer, Delia Smith (both position 89).

Delia Smith joins a host of other well-known TV chefs including Jamie Oliver (position 33), Rick Stein (position 79) and Gary Rhodes (position 100) all of whom started their careers having completed a vocational catering qualification.

But while celebrity chefs may have cooked themselves up a fortune (ho-ho), it’s the entrepreneurs from industry, including high tech sectors, that lead the way in the 2011 list, making up 30 of the 100.

City & Guilds Vocational Rich List 2011: Top 20 millionaires

  1. Sir Anthony Bamford ( £2,150m industry)
  2. Laurence Graff ( £2,000m diamonds)
  3. John Caudwell ( £1,500m mobile phones)
  4. Sir James Dyson ( £1,450m industry)
  5. Sir Terry Matthews ( £1,043m telecoms)
  6. Jim McColl (£570m industry)
  7. Trevor Hemmings (£550m property and leisure)
  8. Sir David McMurty (£450m industry)
  9. Sir Arnold Clark (£430m car sales)
  10. Steve Morgan (£400m property and construction)
  11. John Bloor ( £385m industry)
  12. David Wilson ( £360m construction)
  13. Ray O’Rourke ( £315m construction)
  14. Jack Tordoff ( £290m car sales)
  15. David Hood ( £250m electronics)
  16. Michael Clare ( £237m retailing)
  17. John Deer ( £210m industry)
  18. Michael Oglesby ( £200m property)
  19. Peter Dawson ( £187m truck rentals)
  20. Ron Dennis ( £177m sports)

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