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Mike Moody

Chairman NHTG

Sir Michael, Ladies & Gentlemen

Thank you, Sir Michael, for your warm words of welcome. I am delighted and honoured to have been elected as Chairman of the National Heritage Training Group and I very much look forward to the challenges ahead.

In listening to your account of the progress in this sector, it is amazing how much has been achieved since the NHTG was formed in March 2003. We have been instrumental in moving traditional building skills from being fragmented and underrepresented, to having a crucial voice within the historic environment - and it is also starting to be aligned within mainstream construction thinking.

The NHTG has helped develop a framework to influence both high level thinking and grass roots support for crafts skills issues, both essential if we are to sustain these skills. A key success factor for NHTG is the ability to align common strategies for this sector and maximise the use of physical and financial resources for training and skills development, and we have certainly seen some evidence of this happening.

However, there is much still to be done. We must combine our role of seeking flexible solutions to the sector’s current needs, with trying to see what lies ahead and plan for the medium and longer-term future.

We need to further develop the training, qualification and assessment services that have emerged under the NHTG umbrella, and to increase the number of companies investing in training. We need to combine our strategic policy with our grass roots engagement with contractors, Trade Federations, Trades Unions and training providers. This will help in our primary aim of producing a 100% CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) carded workforce by 2010, with proof of competence to work in this sector through the CSCS conservation endorsement.

However, as discussed today, we need more client pull in the form of demand for the right skills. We need acceptance for appropriate procurement processes on heritage projects. This has been on our agenda for almost two years and must be resolved. As Chairman of NHTG I will focus on this through continued dialogue with heritage agencies, UK government, the assemblies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and funding bodies.

We also need to integrate training of craftspeople and education of building professionals so they can learn from one another how to better maintain and preserve our built heritage. The NHTG UK-wide Building Professionals research that has just started will inform this process and enable us to develop appropriate solutions.

I look forward to working with the NHTG Executive Committee to take these and other issues forward and I would like to thank the committee for their enormous contribution and for giving their time so freely to the work of the NHTG. We are also extremely grateful to the ConstructionSkills National Specialist Team for supporting delivery of the NHTG initiatives.

Through the NHTG website and newsletters we will keep you informed of our progress in meeting the challenge to provide this sector with the service and skilled workforce it deserves.

I hope you enjoy your meal and thank you for your part in today’s proceedings.

Thank you

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