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Heritage Apprenticeships

We will support apprenticeships in heritage skills at all levels, providing paid employment and training in specialist fields. Here you can find out more about why we are developing new heritage apprenticeships: 


What is an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships offer a unique and valuable opportunity for individuals to learn a profession through formal training, gain experience in the workplace and earn money at the same time. An apprenticeship will involve 20% off-the-job and 80% on-the-job training, and overall comprise of 30+ hours per week and lasts for 12 months or more.

Apprenticeships can be from Level 2 to Level 7 (equivalent to GCSE up to post-graduate degree), and they offer employers the opportunity to take on new staff or to up-skill existing staff.  

Why heritage apprenticeships?

New heritage apprenticeships at Historic England and in the wider historic environment sector will help us train and maintain a skilled workforce. These skilled people will care for, conserve, and manage our historic environment into the future.
Heritage apprenticeships will:

  • Offer an important new route into a range of professions
  •  Improve social mobility and diversity in the sector
  • Address personnel shortages and specialist skills and knowledge-gaps in the sector
  • Support career progression for existing staff through up or side skilling opportunities delivered through formal training
  • Meet professional standards, and ensure the apprentice is fully competent to work in the role at the end of the apprenticeship
  • Create development opportunities for managers and mentors

How are the new apprenticeships being developed?

Historic England is convening an employer group - the Historic Environment Trailblazer to develop new apprenticeships for historic environment roles and meet our obligations to support the arts and cultural sector as set out in the Culture White Paper published in March 2016.

Over 50 employers, professional bodies and training providers are currently involved in the Historic Environment Trailblazer, and the Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) is guiding our work to develop new heritage apprenticeships.

What are the new heritage apprenticeships?

The Historic Environment Trailblazer is developing five apprenticeship standards:

  • Archaeological Technician Level 3: an apprenticeship designed to train Archaeological Fieldwork Officers providing support to Archaeologists undertaking archaeological investigation, including assisting with surveys, excavations and post-excavation analysis
  • Cultural Heritage Conservation Technician Level 4: an apprenticeship to train Conservation Technicians working under the supervision of professional Conservators or Conservation Scientists. The apprentice will work to ensure the preservation of cultural heritage objects or collections housed in archives, art galleries, libraries, museums, private collections, as well as historic and ancient sites
  • Assistant Historic Environment Advisor Level 4: an apprenticeship for Assistant Historic Environment Advisors, providing technical, research, administrative and logistical support to Historic Environment services. This includes working on a range of heritage assets which may include listed buildings, scheduled ancient monuments, conservation areas, registered parks and gardens, registered battlefields, or protected wreck sites
  • Archaeological Specialist Level 7: a post graduate degree level apprenticeship designed for specialist practitioners in archaeology. Examples of specialisms include finds, archaeobotany, dendrochronology, geophysical survey, pottery (various periods), and material science
  • Cultural Heritage Conservator Level 7: a post graduate degree level apprenticeship designed to train Specialist Conservators. Examples of specialisms include preventive conservation, paper, paintings, metals, stone, photographic conservation, digital preservation, or the conservation of time-based media
  • Other Apprenticeships in development: over 500 new apprenticeships have been approved or are currently in development. Many of these apprenticeships could support historic environment roles, in areas such as: Geospatial Surveying, Building & Quantity Surveying, Traditional Construction Trades, Architecture, Town Planning, Libraries, Archives and Information Management, Curatorial roles in Museums & Galleries and many more

Further information on Trailblazers and the apprenticeships in development or approved for delivery can be found on the Institute for Apprenticeships website.

When will the new heritage apprenctriceships be available?

The Archaeological Technician Level 3 apprenticeship and Cultural Heritage Conservation Technician Level 4 apprenticeship, are likely to be ready for delivery by September 2018.

Who will recruit heritage apprentices?

The new heritage apprenticeship standards will be available for any organisation to use once approved for delivery.

Historic England will be advertising for our own heritage apprentices through the jobs section of our website. For more information see the Historic England Apprenticeships webpage.

Contact us

If you are an employer or a training provider in the Historic Environment sector and would like more information about the Trailblazer contact Liz Long, Heritage Apprenticeships Programme Manager.

For more information on when all the heritage apprenticeships are likely to be available, or for general enquiries regarding heritage apprenticeships, please email


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