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National and Regional Reports

UK Built Heritage Sector Professionals 2008: Current Skills, Future Training

by the National Heritage Training Group

A shortage of skilled craftspeople throughout the UK highlighted the need for a coordinated strategy to ensure that these skills are available now and in the future. This led in 2002 to the formation of the National Heritage Training Group (NHTG), which has a UK-wide remit to implement a coherent strategy for training and skills provision, to meet the demands of the built heritage sector. Its membership is composed of heritage bodies, employers groups, contractors, Trades Unions and FE and private training providers.

This report was commissioned by the NHTG to complement its UK-wide programme of Skills Needs Analysis for the built heritage sector, which concentrates on heritage contractors and craftspeople working on pre-1919 buildings. It was funded by the Sector Skills Development Agency, ConstructionSkills and English Heritage.

This report seeks to provide a separate assessment of the needs of UK building professionals – architects, building control officers, conservation officers and specialists, engineers, planners, surveyors and property managers – to establish their training, knowledge and skills in relation to specifying for and advising on traditional buildings and structures.

The research objectives were to:

  • Analyse and quantify the UK building professionals’ labour market, and the demand for building professionals in the heritage sector.
  • Identify the ways in which the skills of professionals may need to change in the future, and as part of this review their understanding and knowledge of the supply and use of traditional building craft skills and materials on pre-1919 buildings and structures.
  • Examine the provision of formal education and continuous professional development available and relevant to building professionals working in the built heritage sector.
  • Make recommendations for improvement to help inform the development of a Skills Action Plan

This research exposes extensive skills and knowledge gaps among building professionals working on pre-1919 buildings, particularly regarding the appreciation and application of conservation principles, traditional materials and building practices appropriate to a historic context. The findings are used to inform a detailed Skills Action Plan for future action by NHTG and its partners.

Download UK Built Heritage Sector Professionals 2008: Current Skills, Future Training:

Related Links:

For details on NHTG activity please contact or visit the following websites for further information and advice on careers and research activities in traditional building crafts:

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