Heritage sector seeks displaced apprentices

Stonemason at work in one of our places © Maureen Ritson

Stonemason at work in one of our places

Latest update 12.02.2013 12:33

The future of building conservation and the training of the next generation in heritage building skills have received a boost thanks to funding for a unique Apprenticeship partnership training scheme.

The Traditional Building Skills Bursary Scheme is offering up to 45 placements in the heritage sector. Trainee placements are available in traditional building skills including stonemasonry, carpentry & joinery, bricklaying, and blacksmithing.

This intake is targeted at displaced apprentices – those who have been part-way through apprenticeships which have been lost by businesses collapsing in the recession.

Applicants are invited to apply now for placements which range from 6 -24 months at different locations across England and Wales.

We are running the scheme in partnership with Cadw, English Heritage, Construction Skills, and the National Heritage Training Group (NHTG). This unique training programme has been awarded £760,000 funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Bursaries will cover salary and training fees for the duration of the placement, and apprentices will gain a vocational qualification at the end of their training.

Charles Weston, who worked with David Sleight Conservation Ltd on the Bursary Scheme says:
'The Traditional Skills Bursary Scheme allowed me to spend three months on site working on a prestigious building. During that placement, I developed my understanding of conservation techniques and lime mortar technologies and their appropriate application; the use of lime mortars in the conservation of historic buildings, and an insight into managing projects in response to changing weather conditions through spring, summer and winter.

'The bursary helped me to cover the travel costs and out of pocket expenses during the period of the placement. The extended experience prepared me for the next stage of my training for the Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Heritage Skills.'

Rory Cullen, Head of Buildings at the National Trust says:
'The Traditional Building Skills Bursary Scheme was created in a bid to tackle the severe shortage of heritage building skills. Since it began, the scheme has provided nearly 138 work-based training placements across England and Wales, in skills areas where there are recognised shortages.

'We are absolutely delighted that the HLF has recognised the need to continue to provide critical funding – having always recognised the importance of traineeships. This will make a real difference to young people at such a difficult economic time but also help to safeguard the skills and the future of buildings in the whole heritage sector.'

The deadline for applications is the end of September. To apply and for more information visit www.buildingbursaries.org.uk or contact Elizabeth Long on 07824 545187