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Traditional Building Craft Skills Research – Scotland 2007

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 Skills Needs Analysis research report, commissioned by the National Heritage Training Group and funded by ConstructionSkills and Historic Scotland is the second in the detailed UK-wide assessment of existing skills and future training needs within the traditional building repair, maintenance and conservation sector. This follows publication in June 2005 of the Traditional Building Craft Skills: Assessing the Need, Meeting the Challenge - Skills Needs Analysis of the Built Heritage Sector in England.

The purpose of this analysis of the Built Heritage Sector in Scotland was to:

  • Analyse and quantify the size of the pre-1919 building stock in Scotland, as this produces the most demand for traditional building skills
  • Assess existing traditional building skills levels and future needs, including identifying particular shortages and gaps within the workforce
  • Include a smaller-scale assessment of manufacturers and suppliers of traditional building materials (stone, lime, timber, ferrous metals, etc) and building professionals working in the traditional building sector
  • Identify training provision for traditional building skills
  • Make recommendations to address identified problems and devise a skills action plan

The research findings inform and underpin a Skills Action Plan (See Section 10 of the Full Report) to ensure that the supply of traditional building skills and materials meets the repair and maintenance needs of the 500,000 pre-1919 buildings in Scotland. This will be achieved by coordinated action to instigate sustainable positive change within this sector of the construction industry as part of a 10-year action plan through a Sector Skills Agreement between ConstructionSkills and Historic Scotland.

This report also builds upon other research relating to skills issues within the built heritage sector in Scotland, including Safeguarding Glasgow’s Stone-Built Heritage (Glasgow Project) by The Scottish Stone Liaison Group (2006) and Report and recommendations on the availability of adequate and appropriate traditional materials and professional and craft skills to meet the needs of the built heritage by the Historic Environment Advisory Council for Scotland (2006).

Download Traditional Building Craft Skills: Assessing the Need, Meeting the Challenge - Skills Need Analysis of the Built Heritage Sector in Scotland 2007:

Traditional Building Craft Skills Research - Scotland (Summary Report) 2.1mb PDF file
Traditional Building Craft Skills Research - Scotland
(Full Report) 5.9mb PDF file

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:

www.nhtg.org.uk
www.historic-scotland.gov.uk
www.sslg.co.uk
www.heacs.org.uk

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