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Fiona Hyslop meets with new Historic Scotland traditional skills apprentices

12 June 2013

The single largest intake of Historic Scotland traditional skills apprentices have taken up their posts today (12 June) with 18 new recruits starting their four-year training programme.

The new intake includes 15 stonemasons, two electricians and one joiner, all of whom will take part in an induction programme at Forth Valley College before taking up their posts across various sites from Shetland to the Borders in the coming weeks.

This follows a call from Historic Scotland earlier this year for a new batch of recruits to ensure the ongoing demand for traditional and essential skills across the historic environment is met.

To mark the start of their training, Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs visited the college in Stirling today to meet the 18 new apprentices and their course leaders.

The new additions will bring the total number of apprentices employed by Historic Scotland in the last five years to 48. By April 2014 Historic Scotland will have around 60 construction apprentices in training, making it one of the largest trainers of traditional crafts in Scotland and the UK.

The trainee positions focus on learning the traditional craft skills required in their chosen discipline with a focus on conservation. While much of the training will take place on-site at one of Historic Scotland’s properties in care, there will be time spent in college at various stages throughout the four-year programme. At the end of the apprenticeship, participants will gain an industry-recognised qualification.

Historic Scotland is committed to nurturing traditional skills across the country to ensure the current and future demand for qualified craftspeople is fulfilled. This commitment helps deliver the pool of tradespeople required to maintain and conserve some of its 345 properties in care the length and breadth of the country.

This latest recruitment builds on the Stimulating Demand for Traditional Skills Ministerial Summit - hosted by Fiona Hyslop, the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs in November 2012 - when a sector-wide approach to driving more interest in traditional skills was discussed.

This renewed effort aims to ensure all areas of the historic environment play their part in attracting more people into traditional skills to provide the resources required to maintain the country’s traditional building stock.

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs said: “Keeping traditional skills alive plays a crucial role in the preservation of Scotland’s historic environment and I am thrilled to see 18 new apprentices starting work in this important field. These trainee positions will have a focus on conservation and will see vital traditional skills being preserved and nurtured, as well as offering 18 young people the opportunity to gain industry-recognised qualifications.”

Please contact for images which will be available this afternoon.

Notes for editors:

  • Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament.

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For further information

Alice Wyllie
Media & PR Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8603 or 07920 768 096