Learning a craft

Learning a craft

The Guild of Master Craftsmen actively promotes and supports the growth of UK business and encourages potential tradespeople to enter the skilled trades and crafts.


The Guild of Master Craftsmen encourages young and up and coming tradesmen to train in the skilled trades and crafts, to ensure the success and evolution of craftsmanship in the UK. It provides financial support through sponsorship and takes an active role in the promotion of numerous of events throughout the year including:

Young Craftsman of the Year

Hundreds of young people aged 14-21 enter this competition, which aims to promote craft skills and help to launch them into a long term career using the techniques they have developed. Visit www.seas.org.uk/young-craftsman-year/

Southampton City College

Providing training for the community since 1943 and setting high standards for all its students. The Guild of Master Craftsman is proud to be associated with the college as co-sponsors of their annual student award. Visit www.southampton-city.ac.uk


The Guild of Master Craftsmen develops learning in the skilled trades and crafts. With that as a key objective, we actively encourage our members to offer apprenticeships to young people.

For those who would prefer not to study full-time but want to start earning and learning, there is the option of work-based learning. This gives the chance for them to gain a qualification whilst working.

Apprenticeships are a way for young people (aged 16-24) to continue to learn while they are working and gain National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs). These qualifications are recognised by all UK employers and are an ideal way to kick-start your career or get a better job.

We also support The London Apprenticeship Company’s new schemes. For more information about these, please visit:


More information about apprenticeship schemes is available here:


Education and training

City & Guilds

The leading vocational awarding body in the UK, awarding almost 50% of all National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ’s). To help you find the right qualifications for your chosen trade or craft & your nearest college, call 0207 294 2800 or 0844 543 0033 or visit: www.city-and-guilds.co.uk

Connexions Direct

Offers help with career and training advice for young people. www.connexions-direct.com

The Sector Skills Council for Advertising, Crafts, Cultural Heritage, Design, Music, Performing, Literary and Visual Arts

An industry-led organisation which influences the supply of education and skills across the UK. Phone 0207 015 1800 or visit www.ccskills.org.uk

Education Scotland

Information and resources on courses and qualifications for secondary schools and further education colleges in Scotland. Phone 0141 282 5000 or visit www.educationscoltland.gov.uk


A Higher National Certificate (HNC) or Diploma (HND) are higher education qualifications recognised throughout the UK. For BTEC qualifications awarded by EdExcel, visit www.edexcel.com


Free, impartial information and advice on over 500,000 courses nationwide, in computer and office skills and self-development, all tailored to suit your needs. Phone 0800 101 901 or visit www.learndirect.co.uk

Linemine – online drawing courses

Aimed at woodworking and other crafts and using free professional modelling and CAD software including SketchUp and DraftSight. Learn to draw in 2D and 3D through project-based online drawing courses taught by experienced professionals. For more information visit www.linemine.com

National Careers Service

Information, advice and guidance to help you make decisions on learning, training and work opportunities, supported by qualified careers advisers. Visit www.nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk

The Open University

Learn something new or update your existing skills. Part-time courses tailored to fit in around your other commitments, with 13 regional centres and 350 study centres across the UK and Ireland. Phone 0845 300 6090 or visit www.open.ac.uk

Sussex Downs College

Information on apprenticeships are available from Sussex Downs College. Visit www.sussexdowns.ac.uk

William Morris Craft Fellowships

Founded in 1987, the Fellowships are an advanced training programme in building conservation for young qualified craftspeople, awarded each year by The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. Phone 0207 247 5296 or visit www.spab.org.uk

Specialist colleges and societies

Boat Building Academy

Based in Dorset, the academy offers various courses in traditional boat building, leading to a level three City & Guilds qualification. Phone 01297 445 545 or visit www.boatbuildingacademy.com

Cambrica Upholstery and Furniture Restoration Courses

From learning the trade through to assistance and preparation for running your own business. The courses are run by industry professionals and approved by the Guild of Master Craftsmen. Visit www.cambricainteriors.co.uk

The Camelia Botnar Foundation

A charitable foundation set up to help and educate under-21-year-olds with special needs, in order to develop their physical and mental capabilities for a better life and as members of society. Phone 01403 864556 or visitwww.cameliabotnar.com

Capel Manor College

Specialising in horse studies and animal care, as well as horticulture and landscaping. Phone 08456 122122 or visitwww.capel.ac.uk

Chichester College

Offers a broad spectrum of BTEC, GNVQ, NVQ and assorted trade skill courses. Phone 01243 786321 or visitwww.chichester.ac.uk

Falmouth Marine School

Specially designed boat building courses resembling a real working environment. Students are expected to build their own Cornish lugger and launch it within the first year! Phone 01326 310 310 or visit www.cornwall.ac.uk

Guildford College (Merrist Wood Campus)

Offers courses in Animal Care, Arboriculture, Countryside Management, Equine Studies, Floristry, Garden Design, Golf Studies, Sports Turf, Horticulture and Landscaping. Phone 01483 884000 or visit www.merristwood.ac.uk

International Boat Building Training College

Based in Suffolk the college offers a full-time one year practical boat building course. Phone 01502 569 663 or visitwww.ibtc.co.uk

London College of Fashion

Courses ranging from fashion design and technology, management and marketing to communication, promotion and image creation. Phone 0207 514 7563/7344 or visit www.fashion.arts.ac.uk

The National Heritage Training Group (NHTG)

Provides help and assistance with all aspects of recruiting, training and qualifying the UK’s construction workforce in traditional building skills. Phone 0115 975 1880 or visitwww.nhtg.org.uk

Pembrokeshire College

Providing online courses and practical workshops with fully qualified and experienced tutors. Including boat building, welding, brickwork and carpentry. Phone 01437 753148 or visitwww.pembrokeshire.ac.uk

Portsmouth Highbury College

One of the largest providers of apprenticeships in Hampshire and the South East. Full and part-time courses in a range of subjects for school leavers, adults and businesses. Phone 01622 252650 or visit www.highbury.ac.uk

SHE Management (UK) Ltd

Based in Kent, this Health, Safety & Environmental management company run NEBOSH courses in Occupational H&S and Fire Safety, and CITB Site Safety courses. Call 01634 261735 or visit www.shemanagement.com

The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB)

Specialist vocational courses for professionals & homeowners. Call 0207 377 1644 or visitwww.spab.org.uk

Southampton City College

Offers a broad spectrum of BTEC, GNVQ, NVQ and assorted trade skill courses. Phone 02380 484 848 or visitwww.southampton-city.ac.uk

Weald and Downland Open Air Museum

Offer courses throughout the year in traditional artisan crafts and skills. Call 01243 811 363 or visit www.wealddown.co.uk

West Dean College

Specialist courses in visual arts, applied arts, conservation, clock, crafts, photography, metalwork, music, gardening, garden design and tapestry. Visit www.westdean.org.uk

Helpful organisations

The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)

The leading professional body for managers of construction companies, both in the UK and internationally. The CIOB leads the way in establishing, promoting and maintaining standards of excellence for builders in the construction industry for the benefit of customers, clients, and building companies. Phone 01344 630 700 or visit www.ciob.org.uk

The Chartered Institute of Plumbing & Heating (CIPHE)

A registered educational charity for plumbers, whose prime objective is to improve the practice and principles of heating engineering and plumbing companies. Call 01708 472791 or visit www.ciphe.org.uk

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB)

Provides assistance in all aspects of recruiting, training and qualifying the construction workforce, and works in partnership with both industry and government to improve the competitiveness of the industry as a whole. Visit www.citb.org.uk

The Crafts Council

Provides support for professionals within the craft sector, encouraging makers and curators to be ambitious and expand their artistic, technological and geographical horizons to deliver the highest quality work to the widest audiences. The Crafts Council also delivers events and exhibitions. Visit www.craftscouncil.org.uk

Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB)

Providing information about careers and training in the UK engineering construction industry. Visit www.ecitb.org.uk

English Heritage

Providing a range of online and offline resources to help you learn more about the historic environment. There is also a job page available, if you are already skilled and interested in working for English Heritage. Phone 0870 333 1181, email [email protected] or visit www.english-heritage.org.uk

The Gas Safe Register

Inspects and regulates the work of gas engineers in Great Britain. This scheme replaces the CORGI register, which is no longer recognised. Call 0800 408 5500 or visit www.gassaferegister.co.uk

Glass Qualification Authority (GQA)

Information on training and qualifications for the glass and glazing industry in the UK. Phone 0114 272 0033 or visit www.gqaqualifications.com

Institution of Engineering & Technology (IET)

A charitable organisation supporting professional development and registration for those already in the trade. Advice, information and support for professionals, recent graduates and students – including a database of vacancies. Phone 01438 313 311 or visit www.theiet.org.uk

The National Trust

Has a dedicated Conservation, Heritage & Learning page for those looking for information on conservation and traditional skills. There is also a job search facility available if you would like to work for The National Trust. Phone 0844 800 1895 or visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk.

The National Trust for Scotland

The conservation charity that protects and promotes Scotland’s natural and cultural heritage and is one of the largest conservation charities in Scotland. Their education department helps learners of all ages to access The Trust and its resources. Phone 0844 493 2100 or visit www.nts.org.uk.

Nightingales UK Ltd

A specialist home care provider, who offer an accredited training provider with Emergency Aid, Health & Safety in Health and Social Care, Food Safety, Nutrition – Healthier Foods and Specialist Diets, Health and Safety in the Workplace, COSHH, Fire Safety and Safe Moving/Manual Handling. Call 01925 652 800 or visit www.nightingaleswarrington.co.uk

Women & Manual Trade

The national organisation for tradeswomen and women training in the trades. Practical help and information for women wishing to enter the trades, and those already working as skilled tradeswomen. Phone 0207 251 9192 or visit www.wamt.org