Conservation training under the National Heritage Training Group (NHTG) is becoming more integrated with other craft skills. In December the NHTG set up its ConstructionSkills’ sponsored Industry Training Group (ITG) to focus on the development of training for contractors making up the heritage construction sector (which includes significant parts of the natural stone industry).
David Priestman has been appointed as the ITG Training Manager, with oversight from elected officers Henry Rumbold MBE (Chairman), Mark Priestman (Deputy Chairman) and John Munro (Treasurer). The group meets quarterly to discuss the training and qualification needs of the sector and how those needs can best be met.
Mark Priestman says of the fledgling group’s achievements so far: “Recently the NHTG-ITG used a £10,000 grant from ConstructionSkills to place contractor employees on a Site Management Safety Training Scheme. The participants reported their appreciation of the excellent level of training they received.”
In addition to the efforts of the Stone Federation GB Cleaning & Surface Repair Committee and the Natural Stone Industry Training Group, officers from the NHTG-ITG backed a plan to introduce a Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Heritage Façade Preservation.
“We are almost on the home straight to achieve this qualification for the sector so that restorers and cleaners have a route to the CSCS gold heritage card, the absence of which was holding operatives and contractors back from winning projects in the heritage sector,” says Mark. “This measure places them on parity with other heritage disciplines.”
The next initiative planned is a special briefing forum to liaise with allied trade bodies (including Stone Federation). It takes place on 25 June and Mark says: “It’s our desire as a group to work closer with these associations so that our mutual efforts are directed purposefully and effectively, delivering meaningful training that the sector needs.”
David Priestman would welcome hearing from contractors whose business is in-scope with the Construction Industry Training Board and who would like to attend the NHTG-ITG forum.
He would be happy to discuss heritage apprenticeship and upskilling courses, heritage experienced worker NVQs and available grants and funding with companies that would like this training.
Members of the forum will come from a variety of Occupational Working Groups, so if, as a training provider, you feel a Heritage National Occupational Standard from which NVQs are developed needs fine-tuning, let David know. You can call him on 0115 975 1880 or send an email to [email protected].