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Craft Trailblazer

The Government has announced the successful Craft Apprenticeship Trailblazer which will design a new world-class apprenticeship standard for craft.

Chaired by Jason Holt, CEO of Holts Group, the Trailblazer comprises a group of 31 individual makers, craft businesses and associations including the Crafts Council.

Announced in National Apprenticeship Week as part of the Government’s apprenticeship reform programme, Trailblazers put employers in the driving seat to lead development of new apprenticeship standards. 

This is a key opportunity for craft employers to design an apprenticeship as they want it, which works for their business, and is recognised by Government. Focusing on development of high-level skills, Craft Trailblazer will specifically look at designing an apprenticeship standard and high-level assessment that will work for the small and micro-businesses that make up the majority of firms in the sector.

The new standard for anyone doing an apprenticeship in the craft sector, designed by employers and maker in the Craft Trailblazer Group, could be available to use from early 2015.

Recent Crafts Council research Studying craft: trends in craft education and training showed low provision and participation in craft sector apprenticeships so the Craft Trailblazer is welcome and timely. 

Jason Holt, Chair of the Craft Trailblazer Group, and CEO of Holts Group, said: “I am delighted that we have been successful in our proposal to pilot the Government’s new apprenticeship reforms. The craft sector is incredibly diverse and this coupled with the number of small businesses has made it difficult to operate apprenticeships under the current system. This is an incredible opportunity to shape an apprenticeship which will deliver the right training and skills for our respective businesses and the craft sector as a whole.”

Crafts Council’s Executive Director, Rosy Greenlees said “We are delighted that the Government has recognised the need for a craft apprenticeship standard. Education, learning and talent development is a major priority of the Crafts Council so the creation of a vital new route into craft employment and training is very welcome. The breadth of expertise and knowledge of all the partners will be crucial to achieving a well-rounded sustainable standard which will benefit apprentices and businesses and ultimately strengthen the British craft sector.”


For more information please contact media@craftscouncil.org.uk or phone 020 7806 2500

Notes to Editors

• The new craft apprenticeship standard could be available to use from early 2015.

• The Craft Trailblazer Group, chaired by Jason Holt, includes; Adrian Legge (Blacksmith), Andy Bates LeatherworkBritish Horological InstituteThe Institute of British Organ Building, Cane & Bray Artworks’, Cockpit Arts, Crafts Council, Creative & Cultural Skills, Eastnor Pottery & The Flying PotterThe Edward Barnsley WorkshopF.H. Browne & Sons Ltd, Ghostsigns, The Goldsmiths’ CentreGoldsmiths’ Company Assay OfficeHarrison & Harrison Ltd.Henry Willis & Sons Ltd.The Heritage Crafts AssociationHockley Mint Ltd., Holts Academy,The Leach Pottery, Livery Companies Skills Council, Martin Goetze & Dominic Gwynn, Matthew Burt Ltd,Nicholson & Co. LtdPatricia Lovett (Calligrapher and Illuminator), R & S Young Organ Builders, Red Barn CreativeShires Organ Pipes Ltd, Steve Rook (Blacksmith), Terrence Clark (Blacksmith), The Mulberry Tree Wood Turnery and theV&A

• The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, has published information on the Apprenticeship Trailblazer programme