Sunday, 19 April 2009

Heritage Crafts and Creative and Cultural Skills

Now this may not seem like the most fun blog post I have done for a while but I think it is potentially one of the more important for the future of traditional and heritage crafts in the UK.

Since our inception the Heritage Crafts Association have been working closely with Creative and Cultural Skills the industry led government body that determines training policy in our sector. CCSkills have been working on the "Craft Blueprint" this is "an action plan putting employers in control of shaping the industry's future by:
  • assessing the short and long term skills needs
  • mapping out the factors needed for change in the sector
  • reviewing the training that is currently provided
  • analysing the main gaps and weaknesses
  • agreeing how we will work with key funding partners."
The Heritage Crafts Association have had a lot of input to highlight amongst other things the issue of many elderly sole traders possessing unique skills and the problems preventing them from being passed on. The reduction in crafts training in education and further education has also been highlighted as an issue.

The Craft Blueprint is now in its final draft form and will be launched at the House of Lords on June 10th. Then the work starts on taking the recommendations forward and the HCA will be working closely with CCSkills to address the issues that have been highlighted.

On Wednesday this week I was in London for the annual meeting of woodturners hosted by the Worshipful Company of Turners. I took the opportunity to also visit CCSkills and meet with Jenna Lea-Philpot the wonderful adviser and passionate advocate of the crafts who has been helping us input into the blueprint and Tom Bewick the chief executive of Creative and Cultural Skills. Having conducted all our correspondence with email and phone calls it was good to finally meet in person and I am sure that the ongoing relationship will have positive results though it will take time.

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