New Bursary Scheme Helps Meet Demand for Heritage Skills
A new bursary scheme launched by English Heritage, the National Trust, Cadw, Construction-Skills the National Heritage Training Group is set to help address the skills shortage in the heritage sector. The four year project has been funded by a £900,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and contributions from the partners.
The Traditional Building Skills Bursary Scheme organises and funds work-based training placements for individuals who want to work in the built heritage sector.
The main skills that the bursaries will be aimed at during the next four years include brickwork, carpentry and joinery, fibrous plaster, lime plaster, stone masonry and conservation, leadwork, thatching and ironwork.
The bursaries will operate as work based training placements - at NVQ Heritage Skills level 3 and above –at a variety of sites, including those of National Trust, English Heritage and Cadw working with contractors. Bursary placements are currently being advertised on the Scheme’s website and more will be available throughout the duration of the Scheme.
The bursary scheme will help address the heritage skills gap as highlighted by reports in 2005 from the Countryside Agency and the National Heritage Training Group.
More information is available form the Scheme’s website – www.buildingbursaries.org.uk.
When do you expect the scheme to start and how many people will be able to take part?
Placements are available from June 2007 onwards. It is expected that around 80 people will participate in the bursary scheme during the four years, though this number will depend on the length of placements (see below).
How will the bursary scheme operate?
The bursaries will operate as work based training - at NVQ Heritage Skills level 3 and above - at a variety of sites, including those of National Trust, English Heritage and Cadw working with contractors Each of the bursary scheme holders will have an individual training plan.
What happens after the scheme finishes in 2010?The HLF hope that the four year project will help kickstart other initiatives within the industry to provide more training opportunities and address the skills shortage.
Why has it taken the partners so long to address the skills gap? Surely you have known about it for years?
Yes, the sector has been well aware of the decline in the skills that are needed in the heritage industry. The National Heritage Training Group (NHTG), which is a relatively new organisation, has played a key role in bringing everyone together to focus on this issue in the heritage sector; and the research, published by the NHTG in June 2005, has brought forward real evidence to prove the point that something needs to be done to address the skills gap. The same research is now taking place in Wales and Scotland.
How long will the bursary placements last?
This will depend very much on the individuals and will vary from one or two months, up to 2 years.
Who is the bursary scheme aimed at?
Anyone wanting to work in a traditional building craft within the built heritage sector, including those wanting a career change. This bursary scheme is not designed as an apprenticeship but will assist people who want to improve their skills or perhaps change career.
How much money have the partner organisations put into the scheme?
The total scheme cost is £1,221,000. The partner organisations have contributed around twenty five per cent of the costs – via cash and benefit in kind.
Will the bursary holders be attached to local colleges?
Most of the bursary schemes will have a major focus around work based training, though there might be some links to local colleges.
How can people find out more about the bursary scheme?
More information is available form the Scheme’s website – www.buildingbursaries.org.uk or by contacting the Bursary Scheme Manager Clara Willett at or .