Saving Heritage Skills
The Hamish Ogston Foundation is gearing up for a significant long-term investment in UK craft apprenticeships, in order to help ensure that the skills needed to repair and maintain our treasured buildings are kept alive. Such investment is more necessary than ever with the added pressures and uncertainties caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which has placed some funding streams and skills programmes in jeopardy. We are currently collaborating with a major public body on specially-commissioned research aimed at understanding the market for heritage apprenticeships in a post-Covid world. This research is a prelude to targeted and effective investment that will, we expect, give apprentices an opportunity to learn their trade while rescuing buildings at risk, and so come out of training not only with critical skills but with solid practical achievements under their belt.
In addition to that main programme, we are partnering a major specialist training provider with a view to expanding heritage apprenticeships provision at English cathedrals, which in the absence of dedicated public funding are approaching crisis point, with a backlog of repairs and the threat of a critical shortage of skilled craftspeople to carry them out.
Further details of both schemes will be posted here as they develop.