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School leavers to discover career potential of traditional building skills

13 November 2012

Historic Scotland is to help early school leavers consider a career in traditional building skills this week, following a hugely successful launch last year which encouraged nearly all participants to take up a construction-related position.

Project leaders East Dunbartonshire Council created the programme to cater for pupils who leave school at 16 years old and over, and formed a partnership with Historic Scotland to draw on the agency’s expertise in traditional skills and apprenticeships.

The agency will run two one-day craft skills taster sessions at Forth Valley College in Stirling, on November 15th and 16th. A total of 60 youngsters, some already engaged in construction access courses, will have the opportunity to try their hand at different building techniques including joinery, stonemasonry, bricklaying, lead plumbing, dry stone dyking, roofing and slating.

Historic Scotland’s Technical Outreach and Education Manager, Dorothy Hoskins commented: “We were delighted at the success of last year’s sessions, when 48 out of 50 youngsters took up positions in apprenticeships, college or employment.

“The visits to Forth Valley College will allow participants to see a state-of-the-art training facility, and they will also have the chance to discuss career options with professionals and further education providers.

“Youngsters keen to follow up on the taster sessions can then attend recruitment days at the relevant colleges.”

The winter leavers programme allows pupils to leave school, with the aim of starting a pre-apprenticeship starter course in January, rather than waiting for the next academic year to start.

The project was created to bridge the gap between early leavers finishing school and entering higher education.

At East Dunbartonshire Council, Convener of Education Councillor Eric Gotts said: “I am delighted that Historic Scotland is building on the success of last year’s pilot project, and offering young people the opportunity to try out skills they may never have experienced otherwise.

“I hope that the workshops open up school leavers to the prospect of pursuing traditional construction as a career path.”

The traditional skills sector in Scotland currently employs around 20,000 people in the maintenance and repair of the nation’s built heritage.

Notes for editors:

  • Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with ensuring that our historic environment provides a strong foundation for a successful future for Scotland. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament.

  • The Year of Creative Scotland began on January 1, 2012 and will spotlight and celebrate Scotland’s cultural and creative strengths on a world stage. Through a dynamic and exciting year-long programme of activity celebrating our world-class events, festivals, culture and heritage, the year puts Scotland’s culture and creativity in the international spotlight with a focus on cultural tourism and developing the events industry and creative sector in Scotland. More information about the programme can be found at:

  • The Year of Creative Scotland is a Scottish Government initiative led in partnership by EventScotland, VisitScotland, Creative Scotland and VOCAL. More information and resources to help businesses engage with Year of Creative Scotland are available at

                                               Year of Creative Scotland 2012

For further information

David Gray
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8588 or 07854 366 805