Lee Knibbs, trainee blacksmith
The British Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) announced at the end of last month its intention to invests a further £13.6m in schemes such as the conservation of historic gardens, the digitising of archives, and training in traditional skills such as blacksmithing and thatching. 788 new placements will deliver 700 years’ worth of work-based training for people seeking a career in heritage across the UK.
Dame Jenny Abramsky, Chair of HLF, said: “This extra money expands our tailored skills programmes at a time when demand for training opportunities is extraordinarily high. The Heritage Lottery Fund has been championing work-based placements for a number of years and we are pleased to be able to give even more financial support through the Training Bursaries and Skills for the Future programmes. Together, they are on course to deliver 2,200 training places by 2015. This is good news for the heritage sector which a decade ago feared that many key skills would be lost.”
John Hayes MP, Minister of State for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning, said: “Britain’s heritage forms a fundamental part of our society and economy; it underpins the very fabric of this country and is envied the world over. It is vital that we make every effort to preserve it and the incredible variety of skills it takes to maintain our heritage sites. The Heritage Lottery Fund should be commended for its track record on generating a significant number of opportunities for people to get on-the-job experience. This cash boost to 51 training projects will enable them to keep going for another three years and equip the heritage workforce with an even wider range of skills.”