National Trust unveils heritage apprenticeship scheme - Museums Association

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National Trust unveils heritage apprenticeship scheme

Initiative aims to tackle a shortage of skills in the sector
Apprenticeships Workforce
Stonemason working on the abbey steps at Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire
Stonemason working on the abbey steps at Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire © National Trust Images/Alana Wright

The National Trust has launched an apprenticeship scheme that aims to tackle a shortage of skills in the heritage sector.

The Heritage Crafts Apprenticeship programme is a partnership with the Hamish Ogston Foundation, a charitable organisation that has given £6.2m to the initiative. An ageing workforce and lack of training opportunities has led to a sharp decline in the traditional building and heritage skills sector, putting the future of historic buildings at risk, according to the National Trust.

Training in skills such as stonemasonry and carpentry will take place at 12 National Trust sites. Following the training, apprentices will be given one-year work placements to further embed their skills and put them into practice. The programme will offer 52 apprenticeships. 

“Each of the extraordinary buildings and landmarks we look after is testament to thousands of hours of craft skills, and the care and dedication of generations past,” said Hilary McGrady, the director-general at the National Trust. “Keeping these skills alive is fundamental to passing on our heritage for everyone to enjoy.”

By the time each apprentice has finished their training programme, they will have been employed by the trust for between three and five years, depending on the level of their qualification. The first cohort of apprentices will begin their training in September.

The new apprenticeship programme is open to people of all ages but is particularly targeted at young people to provide them with lifelong employment opportunities.

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