With around a third of the buildings in Wales built before 1919, there’s strong demand inside the industry for qualified heritage specialists –but a lack of training courses available.
Knowledge of traditional buildings, and an awareness of the skills and materials needed to work on them, is increasingly in demand in Wales, where there is a rich and varied architectural heritage.
But there are very few opportunities to gain formal qualifications in how to maintain, conserve and repair these buildings appropriately.
To remedy this skills shortage, Carmarthenshire Construction Training Association Limited (CCTAL) teamed up with Cadw, the national historic environment service, Cyfle Building Skills and the Tywi Centre, which specialises in heritage restoration, to develop a pilot apprenticeship course specifically aimed at individuals working on traditional buildings.
To do it, they needed CITB funding.
The importance of funding
It fell to Lynette Daniels, Training Officer for CCTAL, to make the application.
“The process was quite involving, daunting even – but I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again. Without the funding we wouldn’t have had the resources to put the course on,” she says.
“We had good communication with CITB so we knew exactly what the deadlines and timings were. The payment was prompt and we didn’t have to wait.”
With the benefit of CITB funding of more than £13,000, they were able to run a new course, the Level 3 Award in Repair and Maintenance of Traditional (pre-1919) Buildings at the Tywi Centre.