Help us create a new Scottish craft qualification

,  12 May 2015

If you work in craft in Scotland, we need you. Creative & Cultural Skills has been asked to develop a Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) for craft workers. We now require expert input to make it robust and useful to all those who may use it in the future.

Employers will provide the expertise needed to make these qualifications work for current and future craft workers. Image © Paul Felix
Employers will provide the expertise needed to make these qualifications work for current and future craft workers. Image © Paul Felix

The SVQ is a qualification in its own right, but will also form the centre of a Modern Apprenticeship, which employers and employees can help shape.

Ronnie Gurr, Creative & Cultural Skills' apprenticeships manager for Scotland said: "The development, establishment and roll-out of creative apprenticeships aimed at growing one of Scotland's most vibrant and flourishing creative industry sectors will offer a real step-change for both our gifted employers and their future employees."

If you are a craft worker, join us in forging this brand new qualification. We want to hear your thoughts, ideas and experiences.

Meeting the needs of the craft workforce

The craft sector is dominated by micro-businesses and the numbers of sole traders is rising, particularly within contemporary craft where 87 per cent of businesses are known to be sole traders.

These are small, niche industries where there is a risk of market failure. The impact of this would be particularly significant for Scottish indigenous crafts, which represent skills and trades originally acquired and practised out of necessity.

If you are a craft worker, join us in forging this brand new qualification.

Contemporary practice of these crafts is based on received traditions, making them distinct from the innovative and expressive crafts developed through the art colleges.

Today, these crafts offer a livelihood to a significant number of people. They represent an opportunity for promoting a positive image of Scotland’s cultural inheritance.

The argument for this new qualification

This project is supported by research evidenced in our Craft Blueprint. This highlights the urgency to develop specialised training opportunities to mitigate the extinction of some traditional and heritage crafts.

There are approximately 5,470 craft workers based in Scotland who could benefit from the proposed qualifications. However, the demographic of the current workforce poses a number of challenges, which the proposed SVQ and Modern Apprenticeship will play a key part in addressing.

Many craft practices are not being passed on by older workers.

Across the whole crafts sector, both statistical and anecdotal evidence indicates that only a small number of young people are opting to choose craft professions as their first job.

With fewer younger workers entering a sector where training can take years, many craft practices are not being passed on by older workers.

Research conducted by Creative & Cultural Skills indicates that the most popular forms of training and education undertaken to develop heritage craft skills and knowledge are:

  • experience through working/learning by doing (43 per cent)
  • formal apprenticeships (30 per cent)
  • mentoring from an experienced craftsperson (21 per cent)

How craft workers can contribute

After a successful first online consultation asking makers to input ideas and thoughts for the qualification, we have just launched our second questionnaire asking for thoughts on the proposed structure.

There is a zip file containing the structure and the standards selected to be read alongside the survey, which can be found here.

We estimate that the survey will take 15-20 mins to complete and highly recommend looking at the overview of each standard to see how the skills encompassed overarch a number of different skills and functions. 

If you would like to feed in to this consultation via another method please contact our Workforce Development Specialist Rowena at rowena@freedom-road.co.uk 


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