Historic Scotland has launched its campaign to recruit 30 additional apprentices to learn skills like stonemasonry, joinery and painting, which are crucial to Scotland’s construction industry.

Culture Secretary, Fiona Hyslop, who made the announcement, highlighted the importance of traditional building skills for the Scottish economy. She said:-“Traditional building skills are at the heart of Scotland’s construction industry and help to boost economic growth. Currently Scotland’s historic environment contributes more than £2.3 billion to the economy and supports more than 20,000 employees in the construction industry.

The new apprentices will experience a mixture of ‘on the ground’ and college-based training at the agency’s leading UK facility at Elgin and at the recently announced National Conservation Centre in Stirling. The new centre, which is being supported by the Young Scots Fund, will allow Historic Scotland to develop world-class training as well as offering support to other colleges. The apprenticeships will take place over a four-year period after which time they will be qualified in their individual discipline.”

Of the planned training and coursework, Director of Conservation for Historic Scotland, David Mitchell, said:- “The apprentices will benefit from quality training and a low ratio of teaching staff to learners, mirroring our successful training centre in Elgin. They will also have access to the latest research into building techniques combined with a first hand opportunity to learn skills that have been passed down through generations. In addition, being part of a new campus will also enable them to benefit in terms of access to great facilities and a rounded educational experience.”

Apprenticeship opportunities in Edinburgh and the Lothians include placements at both Edinburgh and Blackness Castle. Applications are open until 18th November. For more information visit the Historic Scotland website