Three apprentices sat on a church pew

Historic Environment Advice Assistant (HEAA) Apprenticeships

In September 2019 Historic England launched a two year heritage apprenticeship programme, with funding from Allchurches Trust based around the Historic Environment Advice Assistant (HEAA) apprenticeship standard.

Recent highlights

HEAA apprentices visit Brimingham

We were delighted to be able to visit Moseley on 23 November 2021 with Allchurches Trust, to introduce the two new apprentices that the Trust's support has enabled. Josie and Michael are working with our London and Birmingham teams as Historic Environment Advice Assistants, continuing this very successful programme from which the first cohort of apprentices are about to graduate. The event was also attended by Peter and Adam, our other 2 apprentices in the new cohort, which was made possible by this significant gift from Allchurches Trust; and also by Amber, of the graduating apprentices, who shared her experiences and advice with the new entrants.

Our visit was kindly hosted by the Moseley Muslim Community Association, who took over the original School of Art building on Moseley Road to create a much needed community hub, and Moseley Baths, who were able to provide a fascinating tour of this unique site. The apprentices were able to compare the different approaches taken to conservation and working with the vibrant local community between the two sites. We look forward to creating further opportunities for continued professional development to other Heritage at Risk sites as the cohort progresses.

Return to face to face learning for HEAA apprentices

After over a year of virtual training delivery our Historic Environment Advice Assistant apprentices met up in person at Strode college w/c 14th June for their final block release training session. They received training on practical elements that will prepare them for End Point Assessment in the coming months; including going on a site visit to Cheddar Gorge and Glastonbury.

Major award win for HEAA apprenticeship programme

Strode College are the proud winners of the 2021 Association of Colleges Beacon Award for Excellence in Real World Learning sponsored by the Edge Foundation for the HEAA apprenticeship programme!

The Award celebrates colleges which have developed high quality practical teaching and learning approaches that give students experiences that are real, meaningful, challenging, stretching and life changing.

Achieving this national recognition was based on the unique partnership with Historic England to deliver the apprenticeship programme. After a successful written application, assessors spent a day doing a virtual assessment; speaking to the apprentices, tutors, line managers and other stakeholders.

This Award was presented at the Association of Colleges (AoC) Annual conference held on the 8 February 2021, an online event.

Read more on Strode College’s website

UCAS promote HEAA apprenticeship

Charlie Field, our Allchurches Trust funded HEAA apprentice for the East of England spoke to UCAS recently about his apprenticeship as an alternative route to going to university.

Read the article on the UCAS website.

HEAA apprentice joins National Apprentice Panel

Amber Storey, who is employed as a Business Officer at Historic England in the Birmingham office, and is undertaking the HEAA apprenticeship programme, has been invited to join the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education's (IfATE) national Apprentices Panel. As one of 20 new members of this influential advisory body, covering all areas of industry and apprenticeships up to level 7, Amber was selected to help ensure the quality of apprenticeship provision across the UK; representing not just apprentices on this programme, but all apprentices working in the Creative and Design route.

Amber Storey

HEAA Apprentice and Business Officer, Historic England

"I want to encourage other people struggling to break into and succeed in my sector to try the apprenticeship route. I know first-hand how hard it is, even with an academic background, to gain a foothold in such a competitive industry when it’s so difficult to acquire hands-on experience. I had never considered applying for an apprenticeship before. However, when my employer put out the opportunity to apply for this apprenticeship, it gave me the chance to gain experience and training, without losing the traction I was gaining from my job role."

HEAA Programme Overview

This brand new higher-level apprenticeship programme will develop the knowledge and capabilities of the next generation of heritage workers, to help protect and secure the nation’s historic environment for years to come.

Thanks to a generous £471k grant award from Allchurches Trust we were able to recruit 6 new apprentices to undertake the two-year+ Historic Environment Advice Assistant (HEAA) apprenticeship programme. The 6 successful apprentices beat off completion from over 350 applicants to be selected for this opportunity! The new recruits are joined by 5 existing members of Historic England staff, undertaking the same apprenticeship to as 'upskillers'.

The apprentices will split their time between learning “on the job” and undertaking a formal training programme, developed exclusively for this new apprenticeship standard between Historic England and our training provider partners Strode College.

All the apprentices at Historic England are based in one of our 6 Regions around the country

Charlie FieldEast of England
Emily PutnamNorth East and Yorkshire
Callum WynneNorth West
Tom HillsSouth West
Matthew Brunt (withdrawn)Midlands
Ruhaniyah Zamir (withdrawn)London and South East
Laura Holmes (upskiller)South West
Harish Sharma (upskiller)South West
Amber Storey (upskiller)Midlands
Abi Marsh (upskiller)London and South East
Gaynor Roberts (upskiller – withdrawn as received a promotion)East of England

In addition to the Historic England apprentices, two staff members from local authority historic environment teams are enrolled on the same apprenticeship standard and attending the same training programme with Strode College:

  • Lily Mulvey – Yorkshire Dales National Park
  • Tim Snell – Lincolnshire County Council

Meet the apprentices

Read what some of our apprentices have had to say about the programme and their experiences.

Work-based training

As an apprentice Historic Environment Advice Assistant, the early careers professionals will be:

  • working on protecting heritage at risk in the region
  • learning how grant funding can save historic sites
  • advising local authorities on planning applications.

They will work closely with the listing teams, seeing how they assess which historic buildings should receive legal protection in the future.

Each apprentice has an individual work plan which is drawn up by their line manager with input from their mentor. This outlines the kinds of work tasks they will be undertaking on a monthly basis and which parts of the Regional teams they will be focusing learning on. Where possible this “on the job” learning is aligned to the modules being taught through the college based training.

College based training

The apprentices are undertaking formal training delivered through Historic England’s training partner, Strode College; and with expert trainers coming both from Strode, and from Historic England’s own staff who have undertaken a training qualification in order to deliver on this programme.

Strode were selected to be our Training Provider through a competitive tender process.

The formal training programme consists of several residential training workshops at Strode College, Somerset as well as at Historic England regional offices in Swindon, Birmingham, Bristol and York. It offers apprentices the chance to engage with the latest archaeological equipment and technology, as well as getting hands-on practical experience during activities and site visits. Training involves challenging assignments and extensive e-learning tasks that supplement the time the apprentices spend at work.

The training course is based around the following modules

  • Health and Safety at Work in the Historic Environment
  • Understanding our Heritage: Archaeology
  • Understanding our Heritage: Historic Buildings and Designed Landscapes
  • Researching the Historic Environment
  • Policy, Planning and Placemaking
  • Assessing the Condition of the Historic Environment: Risk and Managing Change
  • Interpreting and creating heritage documentation
  • Making an assessment
  • Public Engagement and the Historic Environment
  • Professional Practice

You can find out more information on this apprenticeship training programme from Strode College.

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