Apprentice employer: The Goldsmiths’ Company

 26 September 2012

Developing formally-recognised apprenticeships at Goldsmiths' Company.

There is a long history of passing on skills and knowledge in the heritage craft industry.
There is a long history of passing on skills and knowledge in the heritage craft industry.

The Goldsmiths' Company has been offering high-quality apprenticeships since 1334. However, the training they and other heritage craft organisations provide isn't formally recognised by the UK's apprenticeships system.

Creative & Cultural Skills are working with them to change this.

A long history of apprenticeships

There is a long history of passing on skills and knowledge in the heritage craft industry - it stretches back hundreds of years.

But because the apprenticeships are not formally recognised by the UK's apprenticeship system, the employers can't currently access the funds to support the apprenticeships' delivery.

Without formal accreditation, employers are unable to access the funds to support the apprenticeship.

As many of the employers in the heritage craft sector tend to operate as micro-businesses or sole traders, being responsible for funding the full cost of formal training creates a significant barrier to training the next generation of heritage craft experts.

Even in those sub-sectors where accredited apprenticeship frameworks have been created, uptake is often too low to encourage training providers to deliver these apprenticeship programmes.

Working in partnership with Creative & Cultural Skills

We're working together with employers in the sector to develop National Occupational Standards and nationally-recognised apprenticeship frameworks. We've also helped The Goldsmiths’ Centre to become a Group Training Association.

Like many employers in the creative industries, The Goldsmiths' Centre have found the GTA model supports them to work with others to deliver accredited apprenticeship training and employment.

They've also been able to access funding for the apprenticeship training.

This model is becoming more widely used across the creative industries. Currently, heritage craft employers in blacksmithing, clock making and thatching are also exploring its potential.

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