The continued use of traditional materials, such as stone, slate and lime mortar, in the repair and maintenance of historic buildings is of vital importance to maintaining and managing Scotland’s stock of traditional (pre-1919) buildings. These traditional materials, and the skills and techniques required in their use, also provide a valuable connection to our past and inspiration for future employment.
Changes in construction materials and techniques since the end of World War I have resulted in a serious decline in the skills used to construct and maintain historic structures. The scale and significance of this skills shortage has been highlighted in Historic Environment Scotland’s 2009 audit of Scottish traditional building skills and its related 2011 strategy.
Following the success of traditional building skills workshops delivered as part of past projects, most recently through the Tay Landscape Partnership (2014-18), the Trust is continuing to develop and provide new training projects and roadshows. The training programme recognises the potential for significant social and economic benefits for academically disengaged and disadvantaged people to experience traditional building skills in a practical working environment. It also targets an acknowledged skills gap in the building sector and difficulties in creating pathways between the school curriculum and industry.
The objective is to create opportunities for young people to actively experience traditional building skills and give them the tools and practical understanding to make an informed decision about their own abilities and future career options, whilst creating and developing links between schools and interested young people, and potential employers and colleges.