Celebrating National Apprenticeship Week by launching conservation apprenticeships

This week marks National Apprenticeship Week, a week-long celebration of apprenticeships which aims to encourage everyone to consider how apprenticeships help individuals to build the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career.

10 Feb 2021

Icon have long supported the continued development of clear vocational routes in the conservation profession. Since 2016, we have been increasingly involved in the development of apprenticeships. We have updated members several times over last few years, on all the work taking place to develop apprenticeship standards for the conservation profession in England.

After much work, both the Level 4 Cultural Heritage Conservation Technician and the Level 7 Degree Apprenticeship for Cultural Heritage Conservator were fully approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships in April 2019.

We are now delighted to be able to announce that the first training providers are fully registered. They are now actively seeking to work with employers in the sector to develop high quality apprenticeship programmes, ones which support the development of the conservation workforce.  

The University of Lincoln

​Delivering: Level 7 Cultural Heritage Conservator Apprenticeship

The apprenticeship pathway offers a new route into the conservation profession, providing an opportunity to combine paid conservation work with academic training. Icon acts as the End Point Assessment Organisation, offering final recognition that apprentices have achieved the required standard of knowledge and practice. 

The University of Lincoln is the first academic provider in England to offer the new Level 7 Cultural Heritage Conservator apprenticeship, and the course will run alongside their existing programme of undergraduate and postgraduate taught degrees. Successful applicants will gain an MA in Heritage Conservation from the University of Lincoln, and then progress to the end point assessment for the apprenticeship qualification, which will be delivered by Icon. 
Applications are now being welcomed by the University, with the first intake of students planned for October 2021. All candidates will need to apply through their employers, and they will need to be working in a role where they can gain the required conservation skills and behaviours as set out in the Apprenticeship standard. The University will work with employers to select suitable candidates; this may be an existing member of staff, or a new employee recruited specifically as an apprentice. Course fees are funded through the apprenticeship levy scheme. 
As an apprentice, you will spend 80% of your time building skills in the workplace, and 20% studying at the University (or taking part in course related activities). The apprenticeship may take 5 years, although a shorter pathway is available for students who have sufficient prior conservation experience.
We'd like to thank everyone who has been involved in the development of the apprenticeship standards and contributed towards the development of the course. We look forward to welcoming our first apprenticeship students in the autumn.
For more information please contact:
Dr Cathy Daly - [email protected]
Dr Lynda Skipper - [email protected]

West London College

Delivering: Level 4 Cultural Heritage Conservation Technician

West London College is an award-winning college for business studies, providing education, training and development for over 350 apprentices. 

We will help you to recruit an apprentice or upskill your existing employees. The Conservation Technician Level 4 apprenticeship will develop a fully trained and highly engaged Conservation Technician to make a vital contribution to the success of your organisation. 

Additionally, the College offers classroom and distance learning from entry to postgraduate level, both full and part-time. 

A further and higher education college for 10,000 adults and 16-18 year olds, the College is based across four campuses: Hammersmith and Fulham College, Ealing Green College, Park Royal Construction College, and Southall Community College. 

The Cultural Heritage Conservation Technician Level 4 apprenticeship is taught by an accredited conservator, alongside leading professionals in the field and the employing organisation. This apprenticeship programme is based on a unique integration of networking activities, facilities, and resources.

Off-the-job learning will be delivered via monthly field trips, contributions from expert colleagues, reciprocal visits between apprentices (at their home organisations), enthusiastic guidance tailored to the individual’s learning styles, and the building of portfolios.

For more information, please contact Matthew McMahon [email protected] 

To read more about conservation apprenticeships please click here >>

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