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From the organisers of


The latest news from the Stone Industry


Ian Major and Michelle Turner, who are leading the proposal for a stone industry Trailblazer apprenticeship. It has now been accepted that the stone industry will produce its own Trailblazer. It proposes streams for banker, interior and exterior fixer, memorial mason, stone carving, draughtsman, facade preservation and heritage craftsman.

14 September 2016 | Training
A proposal by the stone industry to produce its own Trailblazer apprenticeship has been given the go-ahead by BIS (the government's Department for Business, Innovation & Skills) following the...

Ian Major and Michelle Turner were flummoxed when they discovered Specsavers had made a proposal for a stone apprenticeship, although all is now becoming clear. They hope the government Department for Business, Innovation & Skills will accept the stone industry's proposal for its own Trailblazer apprenticeship.

6 September 2016 | Training
It is starting to become clear how Specsavers has ended up behind a proposal for a Trailblazer apprenticeship for the stone industry (see New Trailblazer apprenticeships hit an unexpected snag)....

The strange case of the missing apprenticeships.

2 September 2016 | Training
The government has been accused of making up its proposals for changing apprenticeships to new Trailblazers as it goes along, but the latest developments in the stone industry are bizarre.At a...
Moulton lettercutting

Keeping alive traditional lettercutting skills at Moulton College.

21 August 2016 | Training
As the new academic year approaches, Emma Dexter, who now lectures in stonemasonry at Moulton College, Northamptonshire, would like to point out that the college has secured £50,000 funding...

Firms with a wages bill of more than £3million will have to pay two training levies next year.

23 June 2016 | Training
Training body CITB and the Government Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) have come to an agreement that will see qualifying firms paying two training levies next year.A levy for...
CSCS cards

New Trainee cards in August.

20 June 2016 | Training
From 1 August the following changes to CSCS Trainee cards will be introduced.Only one Trainee card (irrespective of occupation) will be available.The card will be red in colour and clearly marked...
Mark Priestman

Mark Priestman is a regular contributor to Natural Stone Specialist magazine.

20 June 2016 | Training
Mark Priestman has more than 20 years’ experience in the natural stone sector. He plays an active role in the development and delivery of training in this specialist environment. Along with his...
Masonry Skills competition

The first heat of the MasonrySkills Challenge under way at Weymouth in May.

15 June 2016 | Training
The stone industry offers good careers but the Government’s proposals to turn all apprenticeships into Trailblazers seem to be in danger of unravelling in the face of uncertainty and opposition...

Mark Priestman writes a column about training in each issue of Natural Stone Specialist magazine.

27 May 2016 | Training
Mark Priestman has more than 20 years’ experience in the natural stone sector. He plays an active role in the development and delivery of training in this specialist environment. Along with his...
21 April 2016 | Training
A Judicial Review of the construction industry training levy has concluded that CITB is entitled to charge it.The Judicial Review was instigated by payroll company Hudsons Contract Services Ltd...

Deputy Principal Derek Whitehead from the project’s lead partner, Leeds College of Building, says: “Step Up Into Construction will not only attract more people into the industry, but it will help businesses fill vacancies and make them more productive."

11 April 2016 | Training
A collaborative partnership that aims to address feared skills shortages in the construction industry has been granted £500,000 funding from the England European Structural &...

The meeting of the Stone Industry Training Group at the Building Crafts College in March.

31 March 2016 | Training
The Natural Stone Industry Training Group (NSITG) met this month (22 March) at the Building Crafts College in London to discuss the Government's proposals for what it calls Trailblazer...

Discussing training in the stone industry at a meeting in the Building Crafts College.

28 March 2016 | Training
It has to be said: there was not a lot of evident enthusiasm for the government’s new apprentice programme when a group of those interested in training in the stone industry met to discuss the...
Mark Priestman
21 March 2016 | Training
After attending the latest quarterly meeting of the Natural Stone Industry Training Group (NSITG) in February, Mark Priestman, the NSS training correspondent who is a partner at training provider...
Trailblazer Apprenticeships meeting

The Heritage Craft Alliance is holding a meeting about heritage Trailblazer apprenticeships on 5 April in York.

21 March 2016 | Training
Location: Room K/159, Kings Manor, University of York, York, YO1 7EPDate: 5 April 2016Time: 13:15RSVP: [email protected] Heritage Craft Alliance is holding...