Traditional heritage skills have been put on the learning agenda at Hartlepool College of Further Education.
The college, in partnership with Heritage Crafts Alliance, has developed a new heritage crafts advanced apprenticeship that has been put together along with the awarding body OCNNE.
The first apprentices in the country have now been enrolled on to the programme, which has been specifically designed to prepare craftspeople to work on older and historic buildings.
Glenn Young of Heritage Crafts Alliance said: “Current contemporary apprenticeships deliver appropriate training outcomes to support our contemporary construction industry. However, they do not address the needs of maintaining, conserving and repairing our historic (pre 1919) building stock.
“Since the 1970s we have honed down our construction apprenticeship programmes to accommodate the specific activities required for new build.
“Whilst doing this we have allowed many critical elements of training and education to be left to one side. In order to address these issues and to offer access to traditional skills training, we have developed bespoke programmes aimed at underpinning the holistic needs of the heritage construction sector.”