The wonderful team at Historic England commissioned us at Squeaky Pedal to create a film celebrating the launch of the Heritage Building Skills Programme. Funded by the Hamish Ogston Foundation, a charity which supports heritage in the UK, the programme aims to improve heritage sites that are currently at risk by creating apprenticeships to preserve essential skills such as bricklaying, joinery and stone masonry.
Traditional construction skills have protected historic sites for centuries. To prevent these skills from being lost, the apprenticeship allows for a new generation to learn the craft and help rebuild these sites to its potential. The films sorts to highlight the benefits of taking on an apprenticeship with Historic England, but also how important it is that we as a country need to preserve these skills for the historic sites to last for generations to come.
Sector Skills Manager, Sophie Norton suggested that the apprenticeship is perfect for those: 'Who are wanting to find out a bit more about heritage, but maybe haven't committed to it completely, who are committed but are very early stages in their career, or who are already working in construction but really know they want to specialise in heritage.'
When filming, we got the chance to talk to the current apprentices who expressed their enthusiasm over the programme and how much the apprenticeship means to them . One apprentice said: 'Some of these trades are really a lost art... you're always going to need tradesmen on with their hands, and the skill of their hands and the knowledge to keep these buildings alive.'. Another apprentice even described it as storytelling, that she is able to gain skills that she can pass down through future apprentices. The programme also helps apprentices develop skills that can be transferred to different sectors in the construction industry, whether that be in the UK or internationally.