On Friday 31 May 2013 we were alongside the National Trust, Churches Convservation Trust and others hosting a Showcase Exhibition with Master Craft stands. This was open for young people aged 14 - 19 interested in courses in heritage construction, their parents and the general public.
The Showcase ran from 10am - 4pm at Hartwell House and demonstrated how heritage crafts work and explained how the Buckinghamshire UTC’s students could work alongside listed buildings.
Master Craft experts were on hand to talk about the sometimes forgotten traditional craft skills, encouraging visitors to ‘Have a Go’. They included:
- Paul Woodford of Chelmscote Construction Services - specialists in the restoration, conservation and renovation of listed and period buildings.
- Paul Wankiewicz from the National Trust with his team of Hardwick Hall Stonemasons lead by Master Mason Trevor Hardy.
- Tim Millard demonstrating repair techniques for Lead Light Windows.
- Other industry specialists included the Churches Conservation Trust, Owlsworth JJP, Cliveden Conservation, and Elizabeth Long who talked about the National Trust Apprenticeship Scheme.
Why is it important that young people learn heritage skills?
Mr Rory Cullen, Head of Buildings at the National Trust says: ‘We’re looking for the next generation of skilled people to help us preserve our country’s heritage and courses like those run at Bucks UTC allow us to bring these young people through.’
Lord Baker, Chair of the Baker Dearing Educational Trust that supports UTCs, commented that the country is being left with a major shortage of skilled technicians following a sharp rise in the number of school-leavers studying arts and humanities degrees. He said as many as half of graduates were now being left unemployed or in low-skilled jobs after finishing university with qualifications that fail to meet the needs of the modern economy.
It is for exactly this reason that Bucks UTC works with its employer partners, to plan its curriculum for not only the usual GCSEs/A levels, but qualifications that employers tell them they need.