Highlands & Islands

Historic Scotland trainees offered traditional skills

Image caption Fifteen stonemasons have been sought by Historic Scotland

Historic Scotland has sought to take on apprentices who will be given training in traditional skills.

The public agency said it had Scottish-wide vacancies for 15 trainee stonemasons. It has also sought two apprentice electricians and a joiner.

Historic Scotland said the focus of the positions will be on learning traditional craft skills.

It said the recruitment drive aimed to build on November's Stimulating Demand for Traditional Skills summit.

The event was hosted by Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop.

David Mitchell, Historic Scotland's director of conservation, said: "These apprenticeships are quite unique in Scotland and we expect many young people to come forward to be considered for the roles.

"They not only offer the successful applicants an opportunity to learn a skilled trade but they open up many doors for future employment."

A document published by Highland Council last month warned that traditional skills such as thatching roofs were being lost in the Highlands.

The crafts are still needed for carrying out repairs to historic properties.

Highland Council officials said the integrity of such sites could be harmed if non-traditional materials and techniques were used.

They said thatchers from the south of England had to be called upon to carry out a recent repair project.

The concerns and a number of recommendations were contained in supplementary guidance to the council's Highland-wide Local Development Plan.

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