Heritage master craftsperson training

If you’re interested in becoming a master craftsperson in the heritage sector, opportunities are available under the NI Heritage Skills Programme. Bricklayers, joiners/ woodworkers, metal workers, blacksmiths, stonemasons or final year students studying NVQ Level 2 or equivalent, in the above trade areas can apply.

How the programme works

The NI Heritage Skills programme is a full-time, 10-month course from October 2020 to August 2021.

It offers training and practical experience in traditional building crafts and an opportunity to gain a Heritage Skills NVQ Level 3.

The course will include:

  • two week induction at Department for Communities, Heritage Skills Centre in Moira
  • three week masterclass at the Heritage Skills Centre
  • a week-long training school at The Prince’s Foundation, Dumfries House, East Ayrshire  in Scotland if Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidelines allow
  • six months of work placements with master craftspeople working on conservation building projects across Northern Ireland
  • 12 week live build project

Financial support

If you take part in the NI Heritage Skills Programme, you’ll be awarded a scholarship covering the course fees and will receive a monthly bursary of £1,250 tax free, to cover travel expenses and living costs.

Accommodation for the training in Scotland is provided and travel costs will be covered.

This is a fixed term bursary and not an employment opportunity.

Who can apply

You can apply to the NI Heritage Skills Programme if you’re a craftsperson, looking to bridge the gap between basic qualifications and becoming a master craftsperson, working in the heritage sector.

You should have experience in one or more of the following trades, either via college or on-site experience, but are looking to focus more specifically on heritage and traditional building crafts:

  • joinery
  • carpentry
  • metalwork
  • blacksmithing
  • stonemasonry
  • brickwork

To join the programme, you must have at least one of the following by the start of the training programme:

  • NVQ/SVQ Level 2/Republic of Ireland NFQ Level 4 or equivalent
  • qualification in traditional building skills from a recognised authority

How to get on the programme

To apply for the NI Heritage Skills programme go to:

The closing date for applications is Friday 28 August 2020 at 12 noon.

Send applications by email to michael.goodger@princes-foundation.org or by post (recorded delivery) to:

The Prince's Foundation

c/o Michael Goodger

Dumfries House

Cumnock

KA18 2NJ

Interviews will take place in Northern Ireland in September 2020.

If you have any queries contact Darren Sharratt at Department for Communities.

Background

The NI Heritage Skills Programme is being delivered in partnership between the Department for Communities, Historic Environment Division, and The Prince’s Foundation.

It aims to address a skills gap of skilled craftspeople in Northern Ireland as identified in the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) reports 2009, 2018.

If you’re still unsure if you should apply for the NI Heritage Skills Programme, take a look at the video case studies at the link below about different construction apprenticeships. Each one highlights the routes they took and their successes:

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