BESTT is a partnership of steam heritage organisations representing railways, ships and traction engines and has developed a range of training courses on boiler repair, maintenance and the mechanical overhaul of steam engines.
In addition to short courses, the BESTT one year Mechanical Repair traineeship course, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund gives young people a 12 month intensive training in heritage engineering including paid placements at relevant employers and learning modules at Keighley and York colleges.
Steam heritage is one of Britain's glories and working steam locomotive boilers are a key part of the very successful and important heritage tourism industry. There are over 200 heritage centres in the UK and around 6,000 working or restorable boilers on railway locomotives, traction engines and road vehicles, ships and stationary engines.
As a result of the ageing of the many volunteers who maintain and repair these working objects, there are increasingly good employment prospects in this sector.
The B.E.S.T.T. traineeship programme, supported by The Heritage Lottery fund gives young people a 12-month paid experience working in the industry including on-the-job training placements and college modules.
The results over the first two years of the traineeship scheme have been a great success, with over two-thirds of trainees finding full-time employment in the heritage engineering sector.