A new development in the IHBC’s afternoon ‘spotlight’ section for its 2013 Day School in Carlisle, on 21 June, is our focus on professional apprenticeships, as Phil Bell of the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) will be on hand to advise and guide delegates on the opportunities – and pitfalls – in this critical aspect of the government’s ‘skills for growth’ agenda.

IHBC secretary David McDonald said: ‘Apprenticeships have not been used by many in our sector, and today more than ever we need to make sure that we look to every available opportunity. As we all know, support for conservation skills inside local authority planning departments has been decimated by the service cutbacks, while heritage agencies appear unable to help early career development in our sector. In the absence of support from there, apprenticeships may be part of the answer we have to progress for ourselves!’

‘So the IHBC’s Day School is a great opportunity to explore what those opportunities might be. To help guide us we have a national apprenticeship specialist, Phil Bell, on hand for the whole day. We also hope to provide some simple guidance on developing skills in teams, prepared by the IHBC, as well as other delegate resources created especially for this event, so there’s lots for delegates to learn and benefit from.’

‘And as the IHBC also announces today that the NVQ level 6 in conservation is now available, there is every reason to come along to Carlisle and see how these processes might work for you in your business, practice or local authority.’

Phil Bell of the NAS said: ‘Apprenticeships now play a vibrant and vital part in over 100,000 employer recruitment and training strategies in England. This reflects not only the diverse range of qualifications but also their relevance to business and skills development.’

‘The National Apprenticeship Service is a central partner to delivering this exciting agenda, so what we can offer in terms of impartial guidance, support and experience is particularly relevant to the day.’

‘I am delighted to be at the IHBC’s Day School to discuss the entire Apprenticeship offer with delegates and in particular consider what opportunities there might be for conservation, heritage and development specialists. I’ll be along for the entire day too, so delegates have lots of opportunities to explore matters with me informally as well’.

IHBC Director Sean O’Reilly said: ‘ Our Schools are a special opportunity for members and colleagues to get up to speed on practitioners’ perspectives on challenging issues in conservation. Apprenticeships are just another case in point!’

‘Anyone who missed last year in Winchester, on ‘Significance’, might have picked up some of the debate through features in our membership journal Context. But only those who attended really managed to appreciate the central challenges in that concept! So, in Carlisle, as ever, School delegates can be sure they will get the breadth, depth and currency in the issues of the day!’

1. Phil Bell, Employer Account Manager, National Apprenticeship Service (NAS), has been with NAS since the Project Team was set up in 2009 and prior to that worked for the Learning and Skills Council and Training and Enterprise Council managing Work Based Learning contracts with employers and training providers in Cumbria. His current role focuses on working with and guiding employers who are considering their first apprentice through to those employers with established apprentice strategies to ensure they receive the impartial support and information to maximise the benefits that Apprenticeships can offer both employer and employee. Phil is truly passionate about Apprenticeships as they can change lives.

For the NAS Employer’s page see: LINK

Phil says: ‘This page houses all the information an employer requires including wages, hours of employment, funding and levels of Apprenticeships amongst other details. The Q&A section is particularly useful.’

For the 2013 School see: LINK

For the Day School, on 21 June, see: LINK