The two-day demonstration event at Edinburgh Castle marked the start of Scottish Apprenticeship Week, which ran from May 21st to 25th, and showcased the work of apprentices to Castle visitors through demonstrations of stonemasonry and roofing.

The agency has organised the event in partnership with Construction Skills, Telford College, The National Federation of Roofing Contractors, and Stone Federation Great Britain.

Ms Hyslop said: “Apprentices working in the traditional skills sector are contributing to the future of Scotland’s historic environment, which adds more than £2.3 billion to the Scottish economy annually and is a key factor in ensuring sustained economic growth.

“Traditional buildings form a major part of Scotland’s historic environment, and it is important we retain and increase the quality of these building skills to maintain our built heritage asset “.

Ms Hyslop added: “Historic Scotland is driving the traditional skills agenda with vigour, in recognition of the importance of sustaining these skills for existing buildings. Traditional forms of materials and construction can also tell us much about building the sustainable properties of the future. This event is a great showcase for the work that Historic Scotland and the wider sector does in caring for our traditional buildings.”

Ms Hyslop said: “Scottish Apprenticeship Week helps celebrate the valuable traditional building skills that are essential to the nation’s future well-being and prosperity.”

SFGB Scottish Section Chairman, Alex Stark said: “20% of Scotland’s dwellings were built before 1919 and it is essential that these traditional skills are passed on through apprenticeships so that appropriate repairs and maintenance can be undertaken to sustain the buildings for future generations.”

Forth Stone Ltd who employs the stone apprentices, Mr Vevers said: “I am delighted that SFGB could be part of this exhibition to demonstrate the high level of skill from apprentices. SFGB works closely with key stakeholders in the training of apprentices.”