Friday, 2 December 2011

NIACE craft "tool kit" project

"The exciting announcement Creative & Cultural Skills have commissioned research agency TBR to map the heritage crafts sector seems to have caused a little confusion as to how that impacts or sits with the work I’m doing with NIACE so I thought I’d explain how it all fits together.
When Skills Minister John Hayes first featured in craft&design magazine he explained that he was looking at how to address training the next generation of craftspeople.
The first issue recognised by the Minister was the need to harness the expertise and knowledge of the sector so he set up a BIS Craft Skills Advisory Board which has already been holding meetings.
The Minister pledged to undertake a national mapping exercise for heritage craft skills sector, working with a range of sector bodies.
John Hayes has also invited NIACE to produce a map of apprenticeship frameworks that support the sector and to look at opportunities for future growth.  NIACE is also developing a tool kit – this is what I”m working on specifically.
The toolkit is basically a micro website which can be accessed by anyone but in particular people hoping to pursue a career in craft.  I am collecting case studies from people currently working in the industry which details their chosen discipline and how they got there.
These human stories will be really helpful and, in some cases, inspirational.  And, as we are now adding photos, they may also generate new business.
Some of the people that have contacted me also run their own workshops.  There is a separate part of the toolkit dedicated to courses, both through educational institutions as well as independently run.  I’m preparing a list of these as I go and will ensure that any courses advised to me will also be included in the toolkit.
In short then, the mapping exercise will show where heritage craft is at the moment.  The toolkit will be preparing craft for the future.
I have had a great response so far – thank you to all those who have contacted me.  However, I would still love to hear from more of you please.  And don’t forget, if you are running short courses and workshops, include them in the information you send me or, if you haven’t got time to write it, just email me with a convenient time to call you and I’ll write it for you.
This is a fantastic opportunity to be part of a craft-focused project that is the biggest of its kind and it costs you nothing to get involved.  Just a few minutes of your time.
I urge you not to miss out."

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