In September 2020, 12 students began their eight month journey to becoming Master Craftspeople on the Prince’s Foundation Building Craft Programme. 

The current cohort brings together expertise in plastering, natural building, carpentry, brickwork, blacksmithing and stonemasonry. During the early stages of the programme the students will be tackling a 12-week ‘Live Build’ project which this year will involve the renovation of the Gamekeepers Cottage on the Dumfries House Estate.

The ‘Live Build’ project is a fantastic opportunity for the students to expand their learning within their own craft specialism whilst working alongside their peers to gain a greater understanding of the holistic nature of our built environment. In the new year (January – April 2021) the students will take part in individual industry placements, working alongside craftspeople across the UK to further enhance their skills and networks across the sector.

The Prince’s Foundation are currently seeking placement opportunities for the group, and will be reaching out to potential providers in the coming weeks, as well as linking into their own projects such as the Drapers Hall restoration in Coventry. With so many courses being forced to cancel due to the ongoing pandemic, we are delighted that the Building Craft Programme has been able to continue, providing students with the important opportunity to train in traditional and heritage crafts.

This is the third year the Plaisterers have supported this programme through the sponsorship of the Plastering student.  This year Greg Smith follows our previous two students Jue Sota and Esme Walker who both remain in touch and enjoying the skills they honed through this vital programme.

Michael Goodger, Built Environment Education Manager for the Prince’s Foundation says:
“This is an important programme that brings together budding craftspeople from across the Heritage area to help build their craft and give them skills for life. Each year the diversity of craft areas represented provides a rare opportunity for those involved to learn together, gaining a greater understanding of how each individual specialism can work in harmony to support and enhance the other.

This work is vital in safeguarding skills that have built up over century’s but are in danger of being forgotten and thus leaving many areas of the UK without the ability to call on such skilled people. Importantly the programme looks to demonstrate that these traditional skills not only have a place in preserving our historic built environment, but also have a vital role to play in terms of creating new and sustainable places.

We are delighted that many of our graduates not only continue to work within the sector, but are taking active steps to pass on their own skills to the next generation of master craftspeople.”

If you are interested in hosting one of the students on a short industry placement (typically 4-6 weeks), please contact Michael Goodger, michael.goodger@princes-foundation.org to discuss further. Students are paid a monthly bursary during the course of the programme.