Pembrokeshire College Bricklaying students turned back time learning traditional brickwork skills thanks to a partnership between Pembroke Town Walls Trust, the College and the Carmarthenshire-based traditional skills training Tywi Centre.
With estimates putting 30 per cent of Pembrokeshire’s buildings as being constructed prior to 1919, the bricklayers seized the opportunity to acquire the skills needed to work on historic buildings. According to CITB, just under half of employers’ time is spent working on traditional buildings.
The 20-week Basic Heritage Construction Skills course, funded by the Pembroke Town Walls Trust through Heritage Lottery Funding, equipped the Level 1 Bricklaying students with skills which are not currently taught as part of the curriculum allowing them to expand the range of projects they will be able to work on once qualified.
Howard Rudge, chairman of the Pembroke Town Walls Trust, said: “The aim of the training is to create pathways for construction students into heritage trades and further qualifications in this area. There is currently a shortage of appropriately qualified and skilled people to work on our built heritage assets including the Pembroke Town Walls. We hope to be able to continue to support and develop this training in future years.”
Helena Burke, the Heritage Skills and Project Officer for Carmarthenshire based at the Tywi Centre added: “The students have benefited from the opportunity to learn about traditional buildings alongside their brickwork training.
“They were given the opportunity to meet many people from the heritage industry providing insight and inspiration into possible career opportunities.
“They learnt how to work with a range of traditional materials including different categories of lime mortars and a range of stone and brick types, and about building defects and the potential effects of using inappropriate materials to repair traditional buildings.”
As a result of this course, the learners have been able to put their new skills and knowledge into practice on a real construction site, to experience working on a listed structure and appreciate the importance of protecting it for future generations.
The site experience provided an opportunity to practice working safely, working as a team and understanding the potential environmental impact of construction work