Thursday, 7 February 2013

Scotland seeks to preserve traditional skills

Not quite family history, but may be of interest!

Search is on for traditional skills experts of the future

Historic Scotland is searching for 18 apprentices across the country to ensure the ongoing demand for traditional and essential skills across the historic environment is met.

The agency is seeking 15 apprentice stonemasons, two electricians and one joiner to take up the four-year posts across various sites from Shetland to the Borders. This latest batch of recruits will bring the total number of apprentices employed by Historic Scotland in the last five years to 48, making it the single biggest recruiter of traditional skills trainees.

The closing date for applications is 15th February.

The trainee positions will 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 which will see them becomes experienced crafts people.

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

This current recruitment builds on the Stimulating Demand for Traditional Skills Ministerial Summit - hosted by Fiona Hyslop, the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs held 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.

David Mitchell, Historic Scotland’s Director of Conservation, said: “These apprenticeships are quite unique in Scotland and we expect many young people to come forward to be considered for the roles. They not only offer the successful applicants an opportunity to learn a skilled trade but they open up many doors for future employment.

“Having employed some 48 apprentices over the last five years, this latest recruitment drive reinforces our commitment to investing in the next generation of our skilled trades people to conserve and maintain our estate, as well as delivering a workforce for the wider historic environment in the longer term.”

For further information of the 18 apprentice positions and to find out how to apply, please visit

(With thanks to Paul Spence at Historic Scotland)


Pre-order my new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, through Pen and Sword (30 April 2013), or purchase early at Who Do You Think You Are Live 2013 in London. For my other genealogy books, please visit; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

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