Historic England launches £4.3m grant for heritage construction training

Historic England and the Hamish Ogden Foundation have launched what they claim is the largest ever one-off investment in heritage construction in England – a £4.3m grant to fund a new apprenticeship programme.

The money will be put towards the five-year Heritage Building Skills programme, delivered by Historic England.

The programme aims to increase expertise in essential crafts such as bricklaying, carpentry and joinery, painting and decorating, plastering, roofing and stonemasonry.

Historic England warned that without the intervention now, crucial skills are at risk of being lost forever with "grave consequences" for England's pre-1919 historic buildings.

Apprentices will work alongside Historic England experts in four- to six-week summer schools at sites in the north of England that are on Historic England's Heritage at Risk Register, starting in summer 2022. The long-term ambition is to expand the scheme across the country. 

Applications for heritage building skills apprenticeships are open from Wednesday 30 June 2021. There will be 40 training opportunities over the next five years with five apprentices being recruited now.

To encourage take-up of the apprenticeship programme, Historic England will be working with further education colleges and small heritage construction companies to recruit people in the core building trades of bricklaying, carpentry and joinery, painting and decorating, plastering, roofing and stonemasonry. Training providers include Cheshire College South and West, Hopwood Hall College, Leeds College of Training, New College Durham, The Sheffield College and York College.

In 2022, the scheme will also be open to experienced workers wishing to transition into heritage construction and learn specific heritage craft skills. Opportunities will range from shorter paid placements of around six months to paid placements lasting for a year.

Applicants can view all opportunities and apply via the link here. Applications close at midnight on 18 July 2021.

This article originally appeared on Construction Manager

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Heritage Education