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7 December 2015

HES apprentices scoop UK awards

Apprentice stonemason, Megan Crawford, carving words on the the plinth stone for the Mary Queen of Scots statue that is to be erected at Linlithgow Palace

Five Scottish apprentices have beaten competition from hundreds of other stonemasons in training across the UK, to reach the finals of a national competition.

The SkillBuild Final - a national construction competition organised by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) - saw over 70 competitors from across the UK, selected across 13 regional heats, travel to Birmingham’s NEC Arena to compete for Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in their respective trade disciplines.

Scottish apprentices stormed the stonemasonry category, where five of the nine finalists were trained by Historic Environment Scotland, and one by Edinburgh College. The other finalists came from Bath, York and Weymouth.

Calum McKimmon and Craig Derrick both trained at Historic Environment Scotland’s purpose-built facility at Forth Valley Conservation College. They were awarded a silver, and shared bronze medal respectively.

From Elgin Conservation Centre, Ross Kennedy won a share of the bronze, with Robbie MacVie and Gregor Alcorn narrowly missing out on medal recognition.

Dr David Mitchell, Director of Conservation for Historic Environment Scotland said: “I think that our entire organisation should be immensely proud of how these five young apprentices have acquitted themselves throughout the competition, and it’s great to see their endeavours being recognised in this manner. They’ve put in a lot of hard work, and we’ve been proud to support them with first class training at our masonry training centres in Stirling and Elgin, as well as on-site mentoring by our teams across Scotland.

“As well as being a great achievement for our talented apprentices, these awards show that Historic Environment Scotland’s commitment to perpetuating traditional craft skills remains high, at UK and international level.”

Hugh McCafferty, CITB’s Regional Delivery Manager for Scotland said: “SkillBuild 2015 showcased the immense talent coming into the construction sector.

“SkillBuild is all about future talent and it provides a platform for those starting out in their career to demonstrate their skill, creativity and drive. The standard that’s been shown by the competitors over the weekend at the national finals was hugely impressive.

“It’s a great time to be in construction, as the industry continues to see impressive growth. There’s a wide range of rewarding careers on offer for both new workers and those returning to the sector.”

During the course of their apprenticeships, Historic Environment Scotland stonemasonry trainees learn the full range of stonemasonry skills, including cutting, hewing, building and pointing. Apprentices benefit from quality training and a low ratio of teaching staff to learners, access to the latest research into building techniques, and first-hand opportunities to learn skills that have been passed down through generations.

Further information about traditional skills training opportunities is published on our website and social media channels.

About Historic Environment Scotland (HES)

  • As of the 1st October 2015, Historic Scotland and RCAHMS came together to form a new lead public body charged with caring for, protecting and promoting the historic environment. The new body Historic Environment Scotland (HES) will lead on delivering Scotland’s first strategy for the historic environment, Our Place in Time.
  • Historic Scotland is a sub brand of HES.
  • View our press pack and keep up to date by registering for media release email alerts. If you wish to unsubscribe, please contact us.

Year of Food and Drink 2015

2015 is the Year of Food and Drink, a celebration of Scotland’s natural larder and the role that food and drink plays in shaping our economic success. Scotland generates over £2.5m per day through food and drink tourism. A series of themed months will create an appetite for key areas of Scotland’s food and drink industries – from seafood and whisky to berries and high-quality meat.

Year of Food and Drink Scotland 2015 Logo

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For further information

Alan Bannon
Historic Environment Scotland Media Office
Direct Line: 0131 668 8588
Mobile: 07854 366 805