IMG_1301About the traditional buildings skills bursary scheme

Explaining the scheme
The Traditional Building Skills Bursary Scheme was set up in 2006 by the National Trust, Cadw, Historic England (formerly English Heritage), CITB and the National Heritage Training Group, to address the skills shortages in the Built Heritage sector. It is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund under the ‘Skills for the Future Programme’. We are able to offer funding and work placements for Learners partway through their training in a traditional building trade, allowing them to complete their vocational qualification whilst learning and developing new skills to work on historic buildings.

How it works

  • Operates in England and Wales
  • Will provide 40-55 training places
  • Duration of placements can range from 6-24 months
  • These training places will be funded by individual bursaries provided by the scheme
  • Bursaries cover salary (national minimum wage), basic tools, PPE and, if required tuition fees
  • Additional training will be provided through the Partner organisations

The deal for apprentices

  • Develop their existing skills in a relevant trade
  • Build up on site experience for their vocational qualification
  • Learn new practical skills to work on historic buildings and structures
  • Improve their knowledge and understanding of traditional materials and methods used in the conservation and repair of historic buildings
  • Be supervised by experienced craftspeople

Trades included
Carpentry, roofing, joinery, plasterwork, stonemasonry, painting and decorating, metalwork, brickwork and plumbing.

Support for placement providers
Sound support is provided through each stage of the process: recruitment, monitoring and evaluation, funding and additional training.

Support from the Partners
The National Trust, Cadw, Historic England, CITB and the National Heritage Training Group contribute their time and resources to delivering the Scheme. The Partner representatives are Rory Cullen, Head of Buildings at the National Trust, John Edwards, Assistant Director at Cadw, Kate Gunthorpe Senior Building Surveyor for Historic England, Claire Wallbridge, National Specialist Support Manager at CITB, and Karen Houghton, Chief Executive of the National Heritage Training Group

Support from Volunteers
The Scheme is also delivered through the support of our dedicated National Trust Volunteer Roger Cayzer. Every year over 70,000 Volunteers offer their support to the National Trust. 

About the skills shortages in the built heritage sector

In 2005 the National Heritage Training Group published research on the Skills Needs Analysis in the Built Heritage Sector. This research estimated that 6,500 additional craftspeople are required within the built heritage sector to meet current demand for work and as demand is set to rise, skills shortages need to be addressed now.
The Traditional Building Skills Bursary Scheme concentrates on providing funding to develop particular skills to address the needs identified in the NHTG report. This addresses areas of greatest shortage and most widespread need across England and Wales and concentrated upon the following skill sets:

  • Blacksmith / Metalworker
  • Bricklayer and Craft mason
  • Carpenter and Joiner
  • Dry Stone Waller / Drystane Dyker
  • Earth Waller
  • Glazier
  • Lead worker
  • Painter and decorator
  • Plasterer
  • Roof Slater and Tiler
  • Steeplejack
  • Stonemason
  • Thatcher
  • Wall and Floor Tiler

Click here for more information or to download the reports for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

About the partners

The National Trust, Cadw, Historic England (formerly English Heritage), CITB-ConstructionSkills and the National Heritage Training Group are contributing in-kind contributions of staff time and resources in order to deliver this apprenticeship scheme. The National Trust and Cadw are the Lead Partners, they have also financially contributed to the scheme and are hosting a number of placements.

To find out more about National Trust and Cadw placements

National Trust was founded in 1895 to act as a guardian for the nation in the acquisition and protection of threatened coastline, countryside and buildings. Today, it cares for over 248,000 hectares (612,000 acres) of countryside in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, plus almost 700 miles of coastline and more than more than 200 Historic Houses & Gardens of outstanding interest and importance, open to the public and with a total ownership of over 25,000 buildings. It is a registered charity and completely independent of Government and therefore relies heavily on the generosity of its over 3.3 million members.

Cadw Welsh Assembly Government has responsibility for protecting, conserving and promoting an appreciation of the historic environment of Wales. This includes historic buildings, ancient monuments, historic parks and gardens, landscapes and underwater archaeology.

Historic England is the government’s expert advisory service for England’s historic environment.  Prior to 1 April 2015, Historic England was known as English Heritage. Historic England provides expert constructive advice, helping people protect and care for it, and helping the public to understand and enjoy it. It supports the development of the skills needed so that the historic environment is understood, protected and managed effectively.

CITB together with the Construction Industry Council and CITB Northern Ireland is one of the partners in the Government’s UK-wide Sector Skills Council (SSC) for construction. SSCs have been set up to determine how training is delivered and funded in the UK. As an SSC, ConstructionSkills is responsible for representing employers’ skills needs and for tackling the skills and productivity needs of construction. The parent body CITB collects an annual levy from all liable construction employers, which is redistributed to construction employers of every size in the form of CITB grants. This provides assistance in all aspects of recruiting, training and qualifying the workforce. In November 2004, CITB and English Heritage signed the first ever Sector Skills Agreement for this sector for them to continue working together to address craft skills training and development.

The National Heritage Training Group (NHTG) is an independent specialist sector skills development group, established in October 2002 through an agreement between CITB and English Heritage. The NHTG is composed of contractors, trade federations, trade unions, heritage bodies and training providers and has a UK-wide remit to develop and implement a coherent strategy for traditional building craft skills training and provision. It provides assistance with all aspects of recruiting, training, and qualifying the UK’s built heritage sector work-force. 

About the wider partnership

The scheme is supported by a wider partnership of public or private organisations, companies or sole traders, many of who have agreed to become Placement Providers who will host the Placements, providing training and support for the apprentices during their Placement.

Visit our placement providers section if you are interested in becoming a Placement Provider and hosting a Bursary Placement.