Two people on their mobile phones standing close together
Apprentices use their mobile phones to record heritage assets on a training day. © Historic England
Apprentices use their mobile phones to record heritage assets on a training day. © Historic England

Heritage Apprenticeships News

Keep up to date with our latest heritage apprenticeship news. To learn more about the heritage apprenticeship standards, visit our apprenticeships page.

Heritage Construction Specialist level 5 apprenticeship approved for delivery

November 2023

The latest heritage apprenticeship standard developed by the Historic Environment Trailblazer has now been approved for delivery by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE). Heritage construction specialist is a level 5 standard that has been developed to support the uptake in skills and knowledge in heritage construction. Apprentices on the standard will ensure the maintenance of heritage properties through construction projects that repair, restore, adapt, alter or retrofit historic buildings and heritage assets.

Whilst approved, there will be no new starts on the apprenticeship until an end-point assessment organisation (EPAO) is identified; this is the next challenge for the Historic Environment Trailblazer to get this standard through to active delivery.

Read the standard on the IfATE website.

New research into apprenticeships in the heritage sector published

September 2023

Research commissioned by Historic England and undertaken by MSDS Heritage into apprenticeships in the heritage sector has now been published. The report examines employer interest and barriers to implementation. Both the quantitative and qualitative data collection determined that while employers view apprenticeships in a positive light, there are a number of barriers which need to be overcome before companies, particularly micro and small to medium businesses, feel confident in offering apprenticeships. Many of these barriers can be regarded as relatively easy to overcome but there are some which can be viewed as more systemic and therefore more difficult to resolve.

Read the full report on our website.

Historic Environment Trailblazer: Heritage Construction Specialist Consultation

June 2023

The Historic Environment Trailblazer has been developing a new level 5 apprenticeship standard for a heritage construction specialist. Earlier this year, the Trailblazer submitted a proposal for the apprenticeship to the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education and was successful in gaining approval to develop the apprenticeship standard.

The Trailblazer is working on the knowledge, skills and behaviours for the standard and the associated End Point Assessment Plan, with hopes for submission for approval in mid-2023.

Research into the sector’s engagement with apprenticeships

January 2023

Historic England has commissioned MSDS Heritage to undertake research to help inform our strategic approach towards engaging with apprenticeships and opportunities for skills delivery programmes. This project is an opportunity for the heritage sector to provide feedback on the apprenticeship system in England and their engagement with it and help inform future approaches to skills challenges within the sector.

2 surveys have been created: 1 aimed at senior managers and employers, and 1 aimed at early career heritage professionals.

Employers Survey

Early Careers Survey

Surveys will run until mid-February 2023, and there is an opportunity at the end of the survey for participants to indicate if they wish to take part in a 1:1 interview.

HEAA apprentices visit Birmingham

November 2021

We were delighted to be able to visit Moseley on 23 November 2021 with Benefact Trust, to introduce the 2 new apprentices that the Trust's support has enabled. Josie and Michael are working with our London and Birmingham teams as Historic Environment Advice Assistants, continuing this very successful programme from which the first cohort of apprentices are about to graduate. The event was also attended by Peter and Adam, our other 2 apprentices in the new cohort, which was made possible by this significant gift from Benefact Trust; and also by Amber, of the graduating apprentices, who shared her experiences and advice with the new entrants.

Our visit was kindly hosted by the Moseley Muslim Community Association, who took over the original School of Art building on Moseley Road to create a much needed community hub, and Moseley Baths, who were able to provide a fascinating tour of this unique site. The apprentices were able to compare the different approaches taken to conservation and working with the vibrant local community between the 2 sites. We look forward to creating further opportunities for continued professional development to other Heritage at Risk sites as the cohort progresses.

HEAA apprenticeship successfully continues

October 2021

Although Historic England’s specific HEAA apprenticeships, funded by Benefact Trust, have now finished, we are pleased that we have achieved our goal of stimulating the sector to take up the Historic Environment Advice Assistant apprenticeship standard and offer apprenticeship opportunities in their own organisations.

A second cohort of apprentices began their training course with Strode College in 2021, based in organisations across the sector, from local authorities to charities, to consultancies. We hope to see the course continue and another cohort commence in October 2023.

Get to know 2 of the Historic England apprentices on this cohort, whose apprenticeships are funded by continued support from the Benefact Trust

Interview with Michael Clarke, Historic Environment Advice Assistant Apprentice

Interview with Josie Parry, Historic Environment Advice Assistant Apprentice

If you are interested in undertaking this apprenticeship yourself, or are an employer thinking about recruiting an apprentice, or developing existing staff; then do get in touch with Strode College for further information on their training programmes.

The Heritage Building Skills Programme

September 2021

Historic England has launched a major 5-year programme to safeguard vital heritage building skills and provide training opportunities in the north of England.

Find out more about the programme and the latest updates on the programme webpage.

Return to face to face learning for HEAA apprentices

June 2021

After over a year of virtual training delivery, our Historic Environment Advice Assistant apprentices met up in person at Strode College week commencing 14 June for their final block release training session. They received training on practical elements that will prepare them for End Point Assessment in the coming months, including going on a site visit to Cheddar Gorge and Glastonbury.

Major award win for HEAA apprenticeship programme

February 2021

Strode College are the proud winners of the 2021 Association of Colleges Beacon Award for Excellence in Real World Learning sponsored by the Edge Foundation for the HEAA apprenticeship programme!

The Award celebrates colleges which have developed high quality practical teaching and learning approaches that give students experiences that are real, meaningful, challenging, stretching and life changing.

Achieving this national recognition was based on the unique partnership with Historic England to deliver the apprenticeship programme. After a successful written application, assessors spent a day doing a virtual assessment; speaking to the apprentices, tutors, line managers and other stakeholders.

This Award was presented at the Association of Colleges (AoC) Annual Conference held on 8 February 2021, an online event.

Read more on Strode College’s website

Success for first cohort of Historic Environment Advice Assistant apprentices.

January 2021

At the end of 2021, our first ever cohort of HEAA apprentices completed their apprenticeship and undertook their end-point assessments.

We are very pleased to say we had a 90% pass rate, with over half the apprentices receiving a distinction in their assessments.

Some of the apprentices have stayed on in their roles whilst others have found new jobs or continued learning. We congratulate them all on their hard work and tenacity in undertaking this trailblazing programme, especially during a pandemic. We look forward to seeing how their careers progress and thank Benefact Trust for its funding which made this project possible.

UCAS promote HEAA apprenticeship

November 2020

Charlie Field, our Benefact Trust-funded HEAA apprentice for the East of England, spoke to UCAS recently about his apprenticeship as an alternative route to going to university.

Read the article on the UCAS website.

HEAA apprentice joins National Apprentice Panel

September 2020

Amber Storey, who is employed as a Business Officer at Historic England in the Birmingham office, and is undertaking the HEAA apprenticeship programme, has been invited to join the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education's (IfATE) national Apprentices Panel. As one of 20 new members of this influential advisory body, covering all areas of industry and apprenticeships up to level 7, Amber was selected to help ensure the quality of apprenticeship provision across the UK; representing not just apprentices on this programme, but all apprentices working in the Creative and Design route.

Amber said about the appointment: "I want to encourage other people struggling to break into and succeed in my sector to try the apprenticeship route. I know first-hand how hard it is, even with an academic background, to gain a foothold in such a competitive industry when it’s so difficult to acquire hands-on experience. I had never considered applying for an apprenticeship before. However, when my employer put out the opportunity to apply for this apprenticeship, it gave me the chance to gain experience and training, without losing the traction I was gaining from my job role."

Historic Environment Advice Assistant Apprenticeship launches

September 2019

Historic Environment Advice Assistant (HEAA) is a brand new higher-level apprenticeship standard that will develop the knowledge and capabilities of the next generation of heritage workers, to help protect and secure the nation’s historic environment for years to come.

Thanks to a generous £471k grant award from Benefact Trust, Historic England were able to recruit 6 new apprentices to undertake the two-year+ HEAA programme. The 6 successful apprentices beat off completion from over 350 applicants to be selected for this opportunity! The new recruits are joined by 5 existing members of Historic England staff, undertaking the same apprenticeship as upskillers.

The apprentices will split their time between learning “on the job” and undertaking a formal training programme, developed exclusively for this new apprenticeship standard by Strode College and the Historic England Training Team, who will be supporting the College's training provision.

All the apprentices at Historic England are based in 1 of our 6 regions around the country.

In addition to the Historic England apprentices, 2 staff members from local authority historic environment teams are enrolled on the same apprenticeship standard and attending the same training programme with Strode College.