Specialist Apprentice Programme (SAP) Heritage Skills Level 3 Stonemasonry

StoneTrain (the training division of Stone Federation GB) is delighted to announce a new partnership with Building Crafts College, Stratford, London for delivery of the Specialist Apprentice Programme (SAP) Heritage Skills Level 3 Stonemasonry.

Developed by natural stone heritage, conservation and repair experts the Specialist Apprentice Programme involves 20 days of off-site training delivered on a day release basis and for CITB registered companies the programme is fully grant funded. Companies do not have to be Levy payers to qualify for funding support and upon achievement of the L3 NVQ, successful candidates will then be eligible to apply for a CSCS Advanced Craft Gold Card.

For anyone to succeed in building conservation, repair and restoration, a comprehensive understanding of the subject is essential. The Heritage Skills qualification in Stonemasonry is designed to provide all the necessary, fundamental, historical, theoretical, technological knowledge and practical skills to be proficient in working on the conservation, repair and restoration of traditionally built stone buildings.

The training embraces a wide range of subjects including the historical backgrounds to the materials, tools, equipment and techniques used on stone buildings dating from Roman times through to the present day. Included are the causes of decay of stone and mortar and the failure of stonework, and the appropriate methods of undertaking sympathetic repairs.

 There is a shortage of formally qualified people of the right calibre in the heritage sector and due to the past lack of training opportunities, existing qualification holders tend to experienced workers assessed by the on site assessment and training route (OSAT).   To date the training available has, for the most part, been through the employer providing “on-the-job” experience to suit only their specific demands and through access to limited attendance on specialist courses of varying content, duration and quality.

Now through Building Crafts College, specific, tailored training and assessment is open to all and through the prescribed off-the-job training sessions at combined with employer-led, supervised on-the-job practical application of the knowledge gained, candidates will gain comprehensive knowledge of building conservation, repair and restoration. The training modules will be flexible to facilitate the on-the-job demands of the employer’s core work.

In addition to the 20 Day SAP, Building Crafts College will also be able to offer the two Specialist Upskilling Programmes (or SUPs) one of 5 days and a second of 10 days. Both SUPs deliver the same Heritage Level 3 NVQ but recognise that much more experienced candidates require fewer off-the-job training days, An on-line questionnaire and a telephone interview will be used to ensure that all candidates for the SAP or the SUPs are placed on the programme that best suits their needs.

The cost of the 20 Day SAP at Building Crafts College is £3,000 and the minimum CITB Grant available is presently £4,125, though for Levy paying companies fulfilling certain terms and conditions, £5,033 may be available.

The 10 Day SUP costs £1,900 and a minimum of £2,225 of grant funding is available.

The 5 Day SUP costs £1,400 and a minimum of £2,125 of grant funding is available.

Anyone wishing to more about the programmes and/or to register their interest should contact either:

Ian Major, Manager StoneTrain on 07851 063938 or email ian.major@stonetrain.org.uk or Nigel Gilkison at Buildings Crafts College on 020 8552 1705 or email at nigel.gilkison@thebcc.ac.uk

Len Conway, Principal of the Building Crafts College commented:

“The Building Crafts College has a longstanding commitment to increase and develop our training in building conservation and heritage. Alongside our degree in historic building conservation the range of heritage based craft courses has also developed.  Despite the importance of the skills necessary to maintain older buildings, it has not always been easy to develop new provision so we very much appreciate the opportunity that these SAP and SAP programmes, developed by Stone Federation GB in partnership with CITB, will give the College in extending the range of heritage craft training available to us”.

Jane Buxey, Chief Executive of Stone Federation Great Britain said:

“Stone Federation GB has an unwavering commitment to ensuring the built heritage of the UK is protected for the appreciation and enjoyment of generations to come. Not only for those living in the UK, but for the millions of overseas visitors each year who come to our shores. StoneTrain’s Specialist Apprentice and Upskilling Programmes in Heritage Skills Stonemasonry will deliver qualified and skilled people who understand fully all the techniques required to conserve, restore and repair our iconic buildings. We are absolutely delighted to be working in partnership with Building Crafts College – experts in this field – to extend our delivery capability”.