The unique full time three-year programme, which begins in September, will offer 16 positions at National Trust properties across the country where apprentices will train alongside staff due to retire within that time. The aim is to provide continuity of valued skills by enabling those who are retiring to teach and mentor the next generation.
The Trust currently employs around 130 direct labour staff across the country with an average age of just under 50. With nearly 19% of those staff due to retire within four years, rising to 25% in six years, the need to recruit skilled people in their place they say is a priority.
Rory Cullen, Head of Building at the National Trust, said:
‘The severe shortage of people with heritage building skills has made it extremely difficult for the Trust to recruit appropriate staff and this situation is common to the industry as a whole. We have responsibility for the upkeep of more listed and historic structures than anyone else, so we are in a prime position to generate awareness of the issue and take action to address it.
However, the Apprenticeship Scheme will not only be of considerable benefit to the conservation of our own buildings but to the Heritage Sector as a whole.’
Philip Venning, Secretary, The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, said:
‘The National Trust has a huge range of different kinds of building, and this scheme will give the apprentices a unique chance to learn from some of the best in the field. Well done the National Trust for an initiative that will have a wider benefit for the nation’s architectural heritage, both now and for many years to come.’
The Apprenticeship Scheme will be funded by the Trust’s own funds and places will be offered on a three year contract basis. Each apprentice will be paid £12,000 a year and college and tuition fees will also be covered.
To apply for a place on the Apprenticeship Scheme, beginning in September, visit www.ntjobs.org.uk or telephone 01793 817799
Have your say on this story using the comment section below