Major new partnership to boost construction skills for heritage



Signing the agreement at Shrewsbury Flaxmill in Maltings are (from left) Jason Thomas,  commercial & property operations, Historic Environment Service (Cadw); Colin Tennant, head of traditional skills and materials, Historic Environment Scotland; Mark Noonan, industry relations director for CITB and Chris Smith, director of planning at Historic England. Image credit Historic England
Signing the agreement at Shrewsbury Flaxmill in Maltings are (from left) Jason Thomas, commercial & property operations, Historic Environment Service (Cadw); Colin Tennant, head of traditional skills and materials, Historic Environment Scotland; Mark Noonan, industry relations director for CITB and Chris Smith, director of planning at Historic England. Image credit Historic England

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has joined forces with Historic Environment Scotland, Historic England and the Welsh Historic Environment Service (Cadw), in a landmark partnership.

The ‘Strategic Skills Partnership Agreement’ was signed to launch an action plan to equip the construction industry with the knowledge, understanding and skills for the continued and sustainable use of traditional building stock, benefitting the economy and communities across the nations.

There are over 6.5 million traditional buildings (pre-1919) across Scotland, England and Wales. They make up a significant proportion of construction in Great Britain and form a substantial source of demand for work for contractors.

Image credit Historic England
Image credit Historic England

The four partners will work towards integrating the knowledge and skills for working traditional buildings into mainstream construction training by:

  • Supporting the reform of Further Education and apprenticeships to meet the needs of the heritage construction sector and boost apprenticeship numbers;
  • Increasing the uptake of training related to traditional  buildings leading to qualifications to match the individual’s skill level;
  • Supporting employers to attract and retain people by setting out opportunities and entry routes that exist within the heritage construction sector.

Mark Noonan, industry relations director for CITB, said: “This is a milestone agreement and one that is crucial to ensuring we have the right skills in place to conserve, repair and maintain our traditional building stock.

“We want young people to see that you can have a great career working with traditional buildings. Indeed, our current Apprentice of the Year, Sophie Turner, is a stonemason who learnt her trade working on a medieval church.

“Together with Historic Environment Scotland, Historic England and Cadw, we want many more young people to follow in her footsteps and help preserve these fantastic buildings for future generations to enjoy.”

Dr David Mitchell, director of conservation, Historic Environment Scotland, said: “I am delighted to sign this agreement to confirm our partnership with CITB and our fellow heritage bodies.

“Access to knowledge, skills and materials are at the heart of ensuring that our traditional buildings continue to contribute to the sustainable growth of our economies. This agreement will ensure that we work together to help our colleagues in the construction industry equip themselves with the skills required to take our traditional buildings in to the future.”



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