Traditional Building Skills Erasmus Project

General information for the Traditional Building Skills Erasmus Project

Traditional Building Skills Erasmus Project
August 10, 2023 2:14 pm | Last Update: August 9, 2023 1:52 pm

Project Title

Traditional Building Skills

Project Key Action

This project related with these key action: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices

Project Action Type

This project related with this action type : Strategic Partnerships for school education

Project Call Year

This project’s Call Year is 2018

Project Topics

This project is related with these Project Topics: Cooperation between educational institutions and business; Access for disadvantaged; New innovative curricula/educational methods/development of training courses

Project Summary

This project has promoted passing on traditional building skills (TBS) to young people and perpetuating the skills needed to repair the historic built environment. The ambitious projected outputs have been delivered; an impressive range of new learning materials for young people at high school level. The wider outcomes and aims of sharing experience and learning lessons on how to further education initiatives and promote traditional building skills have also been successfully addressed by the the project. The intangible outcomes, the participation of the young people, the different approaches at each school and the links with the strategic partners and with businesses and employers in some of the project activities and the networking developed and continuing has raised awareness of the issue and added to the debate on traditional building skills.
The project experience has shown that there are skills shortages in all three participating regions and that there is a need to introduce high school pupils to the possibility of traditional building skills. The issues arising from a general shift away from vocational education and the general demise of the apprenticeship system that were evident to some extent in all three regions, but more so in Fife and less so in Hordaland.
At each of the partner High Schools of St Andrews High School (and Fife College), both in Fife and Voss Vidaregaande Skule (VVS) in Hordaland, Norway, and Zaklad Doskonalenia Zawodowego (ZDZ) in Torun, Poland, new courses were developed in TBS. The schools in Voss and Torun were not directly comparable with that in Fife, being technical upper schools which catered for an older age-group of 16-19 year olds, more comparable with colleges in Scotland. They also already had construction courses with work experience and craft skills as part of their courses, but not focussing on traditional buildings and skills. The input of the strategic and national partners Historic Environment Scotland and The Scottish Lime Centre Trust proved invaluable in helping the Fife school and college to design and deliver TBC construction crafts training.
Innovation has been the main aim and a suite of new educational resources have been created that in each region are ground-breaking. The new O.2 course also used innovative digital technology in scanning buildings and taking drone footage from above as part of the repairs assessment exercise set. The pilot courses and other resources created can be used by other schools and supported by the new video resources produced, which are again the first of their kind.
Networking has been an important aim of the project- to build up a support network for the pupils and schools with employers engaged in TBS. Torun and Voss both include work experience extending up to one year. The TBS project experience has highlighted further opportunities and the new courses are linked in each case to a craft centre and folk museum as well as local employers.
In the UK, the specialist assistance was required to support the development and delivery of the courses, over and above the practical sessions and videos. The Scottish Lime Centre Trust and Historic Environment scotland donated much additional time and resource in supporting the school and college. Links made with Fife College, the Scottish Lime Centre Trust and Historic Environment Scotland and with crafts people who led craft workshops may prove useful in that respect. The Train the Trainers course has however up-skilled the teachers to continue to deliver the O.1 course.
The three mobilities were completed successfully and the Norwegian and Scottish visitor left Poland only hours before the first lockdown.The project prioritised the participation of any under-represented groups. The exchanges included girls (from Fife and Torun, but Norway had no girls in their construction course), young people from disadvantaged families and “early school leavers” who not going on to further education. In addition there were a small number of participants from ethnic minorities and pupils with learning difficulties. Some pupils were travelling abroad for the first time.
The COVID-19 outbreak has affected the project. An extension of one year was granted but no extra finance. The schools were periodically closed. Pupils in Scotland are still wearing masks in school and external visitors are at the time of writing still not allowed in school. With construction courses already in place, the schools in Voss and Torun were able to deliver their pilot courses before Lockdown. In Fife, the O.1 and I.O.5 courses were 50% complete (for approximately 100 pupils) but the O.2 had not begun yet-it had been scheduled for March-June 2020. Both were eventually re-run but the all-important craft sessions for the O.1 course were delivered partly by the teachers and partly by specialists via zoom but had to be to one class only -25 pupils due to COVID restrictions and the challenges faced at school.

Project Website

EU Grant (Eur)

Funding of the project from EU: 170398,21 Eur

Project Coordinator

Fife Council & Country: UK

Project Partners

  • Zaklad Doskonalenia Zawodowego w Toruniu
  • Scottish Lime Centre Trust
  • Fife College
  • St Andrew’s RC High School
  • Voss vidaregåande skule