Heritage 2020 Working Groups:

Capacity Building

How access to skills, knowledge and infrastructure can be ensured, to manage the historic environment.

  • Overview
  • Vision
  • Priorities
  • Action Plan
  • Meetings

Over the course of the Heritage 2020 programme the Capacity Building working group focussed on two main strands of activity that help to deliver the vision of the Heritage 2020 Framework.

Sustainable Model for Local Planning Authority Conservation and Archaeology Services

Local authorities provide essential front-line advice services within the planning system. Despite the need for greater capacity for conservation and archaeology services, these services have been in decline since 2006. The Heritage2020 Capacity Building working group has worked with Iceni Projects to review and update a list of statutory duties imposed by Government on Local Authorities in relation to the historic environment. The Heritage and Townscape team at Iceni Projects has led the research, combining their experience of consulting on heritage regeneration and conservation projects with experience of working within local authorities to ensure sustained usage of historic buildings.

This work is available on the Local Planning Authority capacity page.  The intention is that it can now be used to focus the attention of Local Authorities on the duties imposed on them, and the heritage skills and expertise required in their workforce to discharge these duties.

Historic Environment Sector Apprenticeships

A skilled and qualified workforce of craftspeople and heritage professionals is essential to ensure the appropriate conservation, repair and maintenance of heritage assets and to realise the full contribution of heritage to employment and growth.

Organisations in the group have worked together to build the sector's understanding of Apprenticeship Reform, and to use Apprenticeships as a means of developing the workforce of the future.

See the Apprenticeships page for current work on this theme which includes a kick-off workshop in 2017 to build sector understanding of the Apprenticeship reform changes, use of Heritage Chat discussions to explore skills needs and employer expectations and a summary of progress on developing new Apprenticeship Standards..

The Heritage 2020 Framework document outlines the vision and priorities for collaboration for each working group.

The vision for each working group was set out in the Heritage 2020 Framework. For the Capacity Building theme it was:

Vision

  • By 2020 we will have agreed and, where required, begun to implement a new sustainable model for delivering local historic environment advice, supported by better and more accessible Historic Environment Records.
  • Better skills and qualified heritage practitioners and craftspeople will have greater access to continuing professional development and workplace learning. Employers will see workforce development as an everyday responsibility and business need and be supported to do so.
  • Approaches to training will be based on a good understanding of need across the sector and amongst owners and developers. Practitioners will be cross-disciplinary and, with elected members and other decision-takers, will be less risk-averse, showing more confidence in their judgements and a greater willingness to be innovative.
  • Advice, guidance and training for the independent heritage sector will be improved. An increasingly effective civil society will be able to take action at national and local level.
  • Owners will have access to better understanding to fulfill their central part in managing heritage, be more confident in their rights and responsibilities, understand the long term benefit of employing skilled contractors and feel more confident in commissioning professional advice.

Priorities for collaboration

The key priorities that were identified in the Heritage 2020 Framework for collaborative action by the sector were:

  • A sustainable model for Local Planning Authority (LPA) conservation and archaeology services.
  • Better support for the independent heritage sector.
  • A more integrated and focused approach to education, training and continuing development of heritage professionals.
  • Increasing the uptake of training and qualifications among the skilled and semi-skilled working in the sector.
  • Creating demand.


The Capacity Building working group agreed to focus its activity on two issues:

  • the development of Apprenticeships as an issue that addresses the priority of a more integrated and focused approach to education, training and CPD; and increasing the uptake of training and qualifications among the skilled and semi-skilled working in the sector.
  • understanding the historic environment conservation and archaeology services that need to be provided by Local Planning Authorities to inform capacity and skills needs and help with the development of a sustainable model for future provision.

Action Plan

Working group members

Over the course of the Heritage 2020 programme, the following people and organisations took part in the Capacity Building working group.

Mike Brown, Institute of Historic Building Conservation (Chair)
Alex Bulford, Royal Institute of British Architects
Rory Cullen, The National Trust
Amanda Feather, Historic England
Kate Geary, Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (Vice Chair)
Lizzie Glithero-West, The Heritage Alliance
Colin Haylock, The Royal Town Planning Institute
Roger King, Federation of British Historic Vehicles Clubs
Edmund Lee, Historic England
Graham Lee, COTAC
Anni Mantyniemi, Icon the Institute of Conservation
David McDonald, HEF Skills Task Group
Kate Pugh, The Heritage Alliance
Alison Richmond, Icon the Institute of Conservation
Henry Russell, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors/Reading University
Jo Reilly, Heritage Lottery Fund
Artemis Sofokleous, Royal Institute of British Architects
Jonathan Thompson, Country Land and Business Association
Jan Wills, Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (Vice Chair)

Meetings

7 September 2020

The Capacity Building group's final meeting took place on 7th September. It focussed on a review of the work of the group over the course of the Heritage 2020 programme and identification of issues that could usefully be addressed by the new Historic Environment Forum and its associated task groups.

The group agreed that the Heritage 2020 programme had enabled new connections and strengthened collaborative working. It agreed that a 'Heritage Workspace' should be established to continue to support digital engagement between group members beyond the close of the Heritage 2020 programme at the end of September.

8 June 2020

A letter has been drafted to accompany the updated list of LPA statutory duties that can be used to bring the attention of local authorities to the skills and capacity needs of Local Authorities to discharge their duties with respect to the historic environment. However, members of HEPRG have expressed concern that the clarity provided by the updated list of statutory duties might now have a negative impact on discretionary services and so further work is needed to ensure that both discretionary and statutory service provision are advocated for equally.

It was reported that all six new Apprenticeship standards have now been approved for delivery. An event held in February that was targeted at training providers was received positively, however Covid-19 is having a negative impact on training providers' plans to put new courses in place. The group concluded that many training providers are experiencing difficulties with making a rapid transition to online learning and it was agreed that the July Heritage Chat should be held on this topic.

10 February 2020

The group began by discussing the progress of their review of the status of different apprenticeship standards being developed in the historic environment sector. It was decided that this work could be complemented by obtaining information on employer readiness. The possibility of hosting future events to bring together employers and providers was also discussed.

The group then moved on to discussing the statutory responsibilities of Local Planning Authorities. The group has recently received valuable feedback from HEPRG on this work and will continue to work on enhancing the data (particularly to cover archaeological responsibilities) and on wider publicity and dissemination of the list.

Further topics discussed included how the group can help provide better support for the independent heritage sector and how they can help to promote heritage professionals.

17 September 2019

The work by Iceni Projects to update the list of Local Planning Authority statutory services (historic environment) will be published on the Heritage 2020 website and it was agreed that Iceni should be encouraged to write an article about it as a way of drawing attention to the useful resource. The Capacity Building group now needs to use the list to support the Heritage 2020 Framework goal of sustainable new models for the provision of conservation and archaeology services.  The work aligns to outputs from the Historic England/CIfA workshop series ‘21st century challenges for archaeology’. It contributes to a goal of the Historic Environment Protection Reform Group action plan.

The group has produced a briefing document on Historic Environment sector apprenticeships as a tool to improve awareness of recent developments beyond the Trailblazer group. Engagement with training providers is a key next step and the group is using its contacts to contribute models of successful engagement and input from HE/FE providers. The focus after this is on employer readiness. The group is adding information on the areas that employers need to start thinking about in order to be able to use apprenticeships (once they are available) to its briefing document.

16 May 2019

Group members had produced an overview of the current status of apprenticeships and the standards under development in the historic environment sector. The group discussed the draft paper and identified potential gaps in the list of apprenticeships included in the paper and how to manage this information given that it changes quickly. They also discussed issues that employers would need to think through in advance of offering apprenticeships. The group resolved to address the issues discussed in an addition to the draft paper.

The group were then updated on the Heritage Skills Gap project by Historic England, an event to launch the Allchurches funded Historic England apprenticeships and the latest on T-Levels. They then discussed next steps for publicising the updated list of statutory services for LPAs, (and are awaiting feedback from HEPRG before taking further action). Finally the group began to explore ideas about other areas of the Heritage 2020 Framework that the group could focus on in the remaining year of the Heritage 2020 programme.

16 January 2019

The group heard an update from members that also take part in the Historic Environment Trailblazer group. Whilst there is still appetite for a follow-up Apprenticeships event focussing on employer-engagement, the priority is for the Trailblazer group to continue to progress development of the Standards. After that the next step will be engagement with Training Providers - before the sector is in a position to increase knowledge, understanding and engagement with employers. The workshop is therefore deferred until these first steps are in place.

The group received the draft updated list of Local Planning Authority statutory duties for the historic environment and archaeology from Iceni Projects. They discussed  its publicity and future use. As a first step it will be shared with the Historic Environment Protection Reform Group as this benchmarking of duties has been identified as a need on its action plan.

17 September 2018

The group met on 17 September and discussed progress on the development of the LPA statutory list and the issues that need to be considered as the project moves forward. The group discussed how to update the HEF Skills Group skills matrix and options for its future publicity. On the topic of apprenticeship, it was agreed that the future apprenticeships workshop that group members intend to organise as a follow-up to the 2017 'kick-off' workshop, should focus on employers and aid them in recruiting apprentices. January/February 2019 was provisionally identified as a good time to run the workshop.

The group were then updated on the work of the Client Demand Task Group and the potential for the group to create a portal to help people to access heritage skills. The group later discussed the progress they have made against their priority action areas and explored potential future activities that could build upon their progress.

15 May 2018

The group met on 15 May 2018 and discussed the brief for their project to review core Local Planning Authority (LPA) historic environment services as part of the wider objective of identifying sustainable model(s) for their provision. It was agreed that a call for expressions of interest in the project should be issued in the early summer.

The group then proceeded to discuss ways of developing a more integrated and focused approach to education, training and continuing professional development of heritage professionals. It was suggested that the skills matrix (that has been developed by the HEF skills task group) would be helpful and could be used a resource for university career officers.

It was then noted by the group that the Heritage 2020 Digital Foresight Workshop brought together a wide range of people and that the digital area has the potential for many positive collaborations. They identified the need to keep abreast of work to develop a digital maturity matrix that will be led by HLF. Finally, the group were updated on the Heritage Council, a new cross-Government group that came out of the Heritage Statement. This will see government departments form a round table to think ahead about heritage, with input from a small number of Heritage sector organisations and other expert contributors as appropriate to the agenda of each meeting.

9 February 2018

The group met on 9 February 2018 and discussed options to take forward the task of reviewing Local Planning Authority statutory service provision for the historic environment. It was decided that a brief should be drawn up for the work that could be used in a call for expressions of interest in the work, or developed into a funding bid.

Historic England provided an update on its new approach to commissioning future labour market research, and on the Historic Environment Trailblazer including newly published FAQs on the Historic Environment Apprenticeships.

Members of the HEF skills task group, the HEF client demand task group and the HEF standards and guidance group had joined the meeting to talk about their work and a future relationship with the Capacity Building group. It was agreed that the current Chair of the skills group should join the Capacity Building group and complete and maintain the skills matrix that had been developed by the group. The Client Demand task group will continue to operate as a separate subgroup to progress its work, but report through the Capacity Building group to HEF. The future relationship of the HEF standards and guidance group will be discussed at a future meeting.

3 October 2017

The group met on 3 October 2017 and discussed:

1. Apprenticeships:

The group was updated on the significant cross-sector activity on Apprenticeships, including the Historic Environment Trailblazer where three sub-groups are developing standards in archaeology, conservation and advisory sectors.

2. Local Planning Authority historic environment services:

The group discussed progress in identifying core Local Authority historic environment service provision, including work to review recently produced documents by IHBC, ALGAO and CIfA, as well as an older list of statutory duties by DCLG. The next step is for the list of statutory duties to be updated by the group, as a precursor identifying strengths and gaps in provision, and to inform future advocacy work.

The group also discussed the impact on new technology on traditional skills and its possible contribution to the wider ‘digital’ topic of the 2018 Foresight meeting.

Finally the group reviewed its relationship with other Historic Environment Forum (HEF) skills groups, discussing the opportunities for the groups to work together more closely and report through Heritage 2020 to HEF.

14 March 2017

The group's discussion of responses to the consultation identified as areas to take forward:

1. Skills development at all levels

2. The need for access to information that will both inform and speed up decision making and planning processes

The planned workshop on Apprenticeship Reform (15 March 2017) is a measure that will help to address skills development issues. The workshop aims to share information and experience across the sector relating to this area of change. The group also agreed to inquire about the next steps for the HEF subgroups relating to skills.

The group continues to work on its summary of Local Authority historic environment core services, with a draft document planned for review at the next meeting.

Finally, the group discussed the impact of new technology on traditional skills as a potential area to be addressed in 2017-18.

15 November 2016

The group's November meeting focused on actions to take forward the two priority areas that had been agreed previously:

1. Local Authority resourcing (definition of services to be prioritised across archaeology and historic building conservation)
An initial discussion had taken place with ALGAO which is willing to collaborate as it is doing similar work. The group discussed the background information that already exists and agreed that this should be collated. The collated document should align with the Culture White Paper aims, and take into account work underway at Historic England.

2. Apprenticeships
The group continued to support the activity of holding a workshop (led by Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic England), to take place by the end of March 2017. Issues to be explored include how universities are approaching the growth of Apprenticeships, experience of setting up and running Apprenticeships (of organisations subject to the Levy) and latest knowledge on Apprenticeship standards. The event is to be an opportunity to bring the sector together to exchange knowledge and expertise.

The group discussed how to make the extensive Activity Log publicly available and it was agreed that the project support officer should investigate reformatting it for the website.