Building Skill in Craft

Educating through apprenticeships; advancing traditional craftsmanship.
Length: 8 months

Our course gives practical experience in sustainable building crafts and an opportunity to gain a Heritage Skills NVQ 3. This is an opportunity to gain the skills necessary to succeed in a career in the traditional building sector.

We equip professionals, graduates and the public with the skills they need to design, build and preserve sustainable communities. 

The programme comprises an intensive, three-week Building Skill in Summer school; a short course on small business skills; a short course on retro-fitting old buildings; and seven months of work placements with master craftspeople on traditional new building schemes and conservation projects.

HRH The Prince of Wales was concerned that traditional crafts were dying out across the UK. We think that it’s crucial to preserve these valuable skills before they’re lost. Passing on the wisdom and knowledge that we have built up over hundreds and thousands of years is so important.


Developing Craft Skills

Traditional craft skills are a living connection to our cultural heritage. Their sensitivity to place and materials also points the way forward to a more holistic future.

Our Building Skill in Craft Apprenticeship programme helps craftspeople develop their skills and understand how they fit into broader planning, design and building contexts. That puts timeless thinking at the heart of modern construction, from Knockroon to Jamaica.

Awarding Excellence

Whilst all of our Craft apprentices have unique talent, every year we offer special recognition in the Hancocks Medal to the Apprentice who is judged to have excelled in technique and skill.

Craft Skills in the programme

Bricklaying, carpentry, decorative surfaces, glazing, horticulture, joinery, land crafts, metalwork, painting and decorating, plastering, pargetting, roofing and tiling, stained glass and thatching. 

Who can apply?

We are looking for building craftspeople who want to bridge the gap between basic qualifications and becoming a master craftsperson. 

We welcome applications from craftspeople who have studied any of a wide variety of building skills. All we ask is that that Applicants should have qualified with either: 

  • A United Kingdom NVQ/SVQ Level 2 or 3 or equivalent from a centre of vocational excellence
  • An equivalent qualification in traditional building skills from a recognised authority

Successful applicants will be rewarded with an eight-month programme of courses and work placements, during which they will be given the opportunity to develop their craftsmanship and use their skills in a broad, holistic building context alongside other building professionals. 

The course is full-time and apprentices are provided with a bursary of £1,000 per month for the duration of the course.

How to apply?

Applications for the 2015 are now open. 
Key dates:
Monday 1st September: applications open for the 2015 intake.
Friday 27th February: deadline for applications to be received via email or registered post.
Interviews will be held late March/ early April 2015.
Monday 13th July: Building Craft Apprenticeship 2015 programme commences.

If you want to find out more before applying then Simon, our Education Manager, will be happy to help. You can contact Simon on 020 7613 8526, or

The work placements…have enabled me to learn from specialists. I feel I have made lasting contacts within my craft with people I may never have had the chance to meet and I’m sure will prove invaluable in my future career.

Johanna Welsh, Pargetter - Building Craft Apprentice 2012/13


From finishing the course I have been offered a role as lead hand carpenter and joiner. I will be able to pass on the skills I have learnt.

Stephen Jefferson, Carpenter – Building Craft Apprentice 2012/13