"As we’ve grown and expanded, we’ve found it increasingly difficult to recruit staff with the right skills and attributes. Recruitment is one of our key challenges."
A recent study by the Centre for Economic and Business Research found that to keep pace with the 23,800 people employed in the maintenance and repair of classic and heritage vehicles, employers need to recruit over 665 apprentices each year as ageing staff retire.
But mainstream motor vehicle apprenticeships are becoming less relevant to classic cars with each passing year and changes to government funding mean there are fewer of them being taught.
In response to these threats to the future of the classic car restoration industry, the Heritage Engineering Apprenticeship Standard was created in 2018 by a trailblazer group of employers, for employers.
The five "pathways" or trades are taught in residential blocks serving employers from across the U.K. at the following Centres of Excellence:
CLASSIC CARS & HERITAGE VEHICLES
Vehicle Mechanical Technician
This level 3 apprenticeship teaches the Skills, Knowledge and Behaviours relating to vehicle mechanical systems ranging from vintage to modern classics.
Apprentice Training Providers offering the Vehicle Mechanical pathway are:
Vehicle Coachbuilding Technician
This level 3 apprenticeship teaches the Skills, Knowledge and Behaviours relating to coachbuilding, panel beating, welding and panel fabrication ranging from vintage to modern classics.
Apprentice Training Providers offering the Coachbuilding pathway are:
This level 3 apprenticeship teaches the Skills, Knowledge and Behaviours relating to Trim ranging from vintage to modern classics.
Apprentice Training Providers offering the Trim pathway are:
STEAM ENGINES AND OTHER STEAM POWERED CRAFT
Steam (Boiler-smith) Technicians
Restore, conserve, repair and remanufacture heritage steam boilers and associated equipment and fittings including pipework, boiler mountings, safety valves and fusible plugs, washout plugs, mud doors and similar, working with a range of boiler designs created over the last century or more, including modern replicas, and found in steam road and railway engines, steam ships and boats and stationary engines.
York YO30 4XF
Steam (Mechanical Overhaul) Technicians
Restore, conserve, repair and remanufacture the wheels, bearings, motion, frames and associated equipment and fittings including valves, cylinders and pistons, brake systems, pipework, and similar features of the steam engine as found in a range of designs of locomotive created over the last 150 years and in steam ships, road locomotives and stationary engines, including modern replicas.
York YO30 4XF
Heritage Engineering Marine Technicians
Maintain, service, operate, repair, restore and conserve traditional and historical vessels. They can be propelled by sail, oar or, powered by electric, steam, petrol or diesel prime movers and where the fabric of the vessel may be constructed of wood, iron, steel or composites. They carry out routine maintenance and restoration understanding the importance of retaining historic fabric as well as the original design and functionality of the vessel. Also when using modern materials, they must to be able to apply their use in a sympathetic manner ensuring the original vessel structure, design and functionality.
Pioneer Sailing Trust
Brightlingsea CO7 OAR