Lights, camera, action! Apprentices embark on heritage project and star in film for Historic England

The country’s most renowned buildings will be restored and preserved by learners from Hopwood Hall College and University Centre.

The college is one of just a handful of institutions that has been chosen to take part in the Heritage Building Skills programme being delivered by Historic England in partnership with the Hamish Ogston Foundation.

The scheme will see the college’s tradespeople-in-training working to protect glorious buildings that are often hundreds of years old.

Hopwood’s cohort will be made up of both students and apprentices – allowing them the opportunity to gain real-world work experience between learning at the college.

This will provide a huge boost to their employability due to the current skills gap in the heritage construction sector.

A number of learners have already had the opportunity to demonstrate what they’re capable of as they starred in a new film released by Historic England.

The footage features several apprentices showing off some of the expert skills they have been perfecting through studying at the college.

The Heritage Building Skills programme received a £4.3 million grant from the Hamish Ogston Foundation, making it the largest one-off investment ever awarded to heritage construction training.

The scheme aims to increase expertise in essential crafts such as bricklaying, carpentry and joinery, painting and decorating, and plastering – all of which are taught at Hopwood’s state-of-the-art Technology Centre.

Tracey Wood, Head of Business Development at Hopwood Hall College, said:

“We are delighted to be a successful partner in supporting this fantastic national programme.

“The scheme will future-proof skills within the heritage sector by providing exciting opportunities for construction students to undertake paid placements and delivering a range of construction apprenticeships.

“We look forward to collaborating and co-delivering to strengthen ambition and ignite a passion for an industry that is facing challenging skills gaps.”

Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England, said:

“We are delighted to be working with The Hamish Ogston Foundation on this ground-breaking programme.

“As life moves closer to normality again, this is an exciting employment and heritage skills training opportunity for young people starting their careers and for professionals in the construction industry looking for a rewarding change.

“This programme will inspire others by making a huge contribution towards saving some of England’s most important historic buildings.”


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