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Heritage Skills Academy

The longest-established HEA apprenticeship provider to date with over 70 apprentices from employers around the country currently completing their apprenticeships on residential block release.

The Heritage Skills Academy has an employer satisfaction rating of 86% as measured by the Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education.

Info for apprentices and learners:

The Heritage Skills Academy brings together experts from across the Restoration Industry who are committed to teaching the skills required to preserve and restore our Pre- and Post-war engineering heritage.

We are located in the heart of Bicester Heritage which has gained international recognition as the UK’s ‘Centre of Excellence for historic motoring and whose location provides an exciting and vibrant environment which embeds new apprentices within the world of specialist craftspeople, historic engineering and cutting edge technology.

With the support of the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs, the Galashan Trust and the Starter Motor Charity, HSA has developed workshop and training facilities dedicated to Heritage Engineering apprenticeships - both on the mechanical and the coach-building and trim routes.

In March 2019 HSA opened a new coach-building and trim facility at Bicester Heritage and in 2021 HSA will be expanding into a new facility. This unique location provides the finest academy in the world for the training and education of the UK’s next generation of world class Heritage Engineers.

Info for employers:

We work directly with employers who task the Heritage Skills Academy with:

Advertising their vacancy.
Conducting initial Interviews with applicants.
Shortlisting suitable candidates and arranging interviews with the employer.
Organising employment with the company.
Organising and delivering the apprenticeship training over three to four years.
Looking after the interests of the apprentice and employer to ensure that apprentices are successfully Trained.

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Courses:

Care for your Classics Course

Location:

Bicester Heritage, Oxon. OX26 5HA

Duration:

Course type:

2-day weekend.

Weekend

Essential maintenance, keeping your classic in the good condition and preventing premature wear and cost. Learning what needs to be checked and replenished. How to check, how often to check and how to replenish. Did you know brake fluid and antifreeze age? If left the brakes may let you down or the antifreeze may cause engine damage!

This 2-day weekend course is ideal for those with some knowledge of their vehicle components and inspection standards.

• Oil and filter change. Using the right oil and filter types.
• Coolant. types of antifreeze. Drain and refill. Confirming thermostat operation.
• Brake fluid level check. Understand hygroscopic.
• Gear box oil level check, and types of oil.
• Differential oil level check and types of oil.
• Spark plugs removal and replacement. Checking the gap and cleaning.
• Plug leads checking and what to do if you forget the firing order!
• Contact breaker cleaning and replacing. Setting the gap.
• Checking the ignition timing
• Pushrod engine valve clearance check and adjust
• Distributor cap and rotor arm checking and inspecting. Looking for track lines, testing the rotor arm.
• Brakes remove and refit brake pads and brake shoes.
• Inline fuel filter fitting and replacement.
• Checking choke and throttle operation
• Adjusting idle speed.

Heritage Engineering - Vehicle Trim Technician

Location:

Bicester Heritage Campus, Oxon.

Duration:

Course type:

42 months.

Block Release - 1 week in 5.

This apprenticeship teaches the Skills, Knowledge and Behaviours relating to trim ranging from vintage to Modern classics.

Apprenticeship level: 3 (Advanced).

Heritage Engineering - Vehicle Mechanical Technician

Location:

Bicester Heritage Campus, Oxon.

Duration:

Course type:

42 months.

Block Release - 1 week in 5.

This apprenticeship teaches the Skills, Knowledge and Behaviours relating to vehicle mechanical systems ranging from vintage to Modern classics.

Apprenticeship level: 3 (Advanced).

Classic Car Restoration Evening Courses

Location:

Bicester Heritage, Oxon.

Duration:

Course type:

10-week course 6pm – 9pm – Tuesday evenings

Evening Course

Heritage Skills Academy are delighted to offer its highly-popular evening classes. Taught by tutor Andy Kelly, the course objectives include:

- Fabrication of a Headlamp Panel
- Oxyacetylene welding.
- Metal finishing
- Safe use of Oxyacetylene
- Gas Brazing
- M.A.G (several different welding processes)
- Spot welder.
- Use of body filler
- To fabricate a sill section using fabrication equipment.

Extra tasks available once objectives are met to meet the needs of individuals.

"Excellent course and Andy has been a brilliant tutor. I am leaving the week with newfound skill and confidence to attempt things i never thought I would be able to do myself."

"I thoroughly enjoyed my time on the course and valued greatly the information and knowledge imparted to us by Andy Kelly who has years of experience in this field. It has given me the confidence and skills to tackle tasks that I would have paid others to complete in the past. I have also learnt about new technologies of which I was unaware and the best techniques to achieve good results"

Heritage Engineering - Vehicle Coach Building & Trim Technician

Location:

Bicester Heritage Campus, Oxon.

Duration:

Course type:

42 months.

Block Release - 1 week in 5.

This apprenticeship teaches the Skills, Knowledge and Behaviours relating to coach-building & trim ranging from vintage to Modern classics.

Apprenticeship level: 3 (Advanced).

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Sample employers:

  • Jonathan Wood Vintage Restorations

    We offer high quality mechanical work for a wide variety of veteran, vintage and post-vintage cars, ranging from minor repairs and servicing to unit overhauls and complete restorations. We have a team of extremely capable specialist engineers, each of whom share Jonathan’s passion for old cars and exacting standards.

  • Classic Performance Engineering

    Classic Performance Engineering specialises in the restoration, race preparation
    and servicing of vintage and historic sports and competition motorcars.

  • Blue Diamond Riley Services

    Riley Car specialists for over 40 years.

    Since their inception more than 100 years ago, Riley cars have helped shape the automotive industry – from the innovative early designs and ground breaking Riley 9 engine to today’s place as a vintage motorsport legend. With so few left, your car has a unique role in continuing that tradition.

    At Blue Diamond Riley Services Limited, we share your enthusiasm for the restoration and upkeep of these historic cars. It’s our singular focus. It’s what drives us every day.

  • National Motor Museum

    The National Motor Museum Trust Limited is a charitable organisation founded in 1972, which runs the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu.

    Continuing the work of the flagship Montagu Motor Museum, the Trust has a world famous collection of vehicles and associated motoring items, which are on display in the National Motor Museum. The nearby Collections Centre houses and cares for a vast array of images, books and items all related to motoring.

  • P & A Wood

    P & A Wood are authorised Rolls-Royce Motor car dealers and the only Rolls-Royce authorised accident repair agent for the UK. We are also Bentley Approved Service dealers and founder members of the Rolls-Royce and Bentley Specialists Association. We specialise in sales, service, restorations and spare parts for the entire range of Rolls-Royce and Bentley motorcars from 1904 to the present day.

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Sample apprentices / learners:

  • Billy Strutt

    Billy joined the world-renowned Rolls-Royce and Bentley specialist in 2017 as an apprentice in the mechanical workshop. Primarily working within the Post-War department (1945-1965 Bentley and Rolls-Royce) Billy has been working closely with an experienced team of professional mechanics in conjunction with the Heritage Skills Academy to become a very well respected member of the P & A Wood team.

  • Zack Whyte

    When AJ Glew was contacted by Heritage Skills Academy asking if it would like to help with an apprentice, the company jumped at the chance, having had “many an engineer come through our doors not understanding how vintage and veteran cars work”. What better way, it thought, than to train the dying skills of mechanical engineering itself to an eager young apprentice...

  • Jay Lacey

    I found a position at P & A Wood, Rolls Royce and Bentley Dealers to do work experience while at school. I then worked there on Saturdays until I left school. I took my time to decide how I wanted my career to go, looking at other job roles or college courses.

    I decided that an apprenticeship would be my best option and knew already of the scheme at P&A Wood. I applied for this...

  • William Florey

    Before my apprenticeship I was at sixth form, studying A levels and at the time this was not what I particularly wanted to pursue, in particular the path to university. One of my teachers notified me of an up and coming apprenticeship scheme running with a Rolls Royce and Bentley garage (P&A Wood) not far from my house and school....

  • Eleanor Churchlow

    While I was at school I considered a career in Forensic Science, however this would have meant going to Uni, I didn’t want to have a debt before finding employment.

    A teacher who knew that I also had an interest in older cars showed me an advert for an Apprenticeship in Classic Vehicle Restoration...

  • Bailey Bilton

    I didn’t really enjoy going to school and enrolled on a motor vehicle course at a local college. I completed this at level 1 but I wasn’t really into modern cars, I found the older cars far more interesting.

    I saw an apprenticeship scheme being advertised by a local Rolls Royce garage and decided to apply for it....

  • Emily Leese

    Classic car fanatic Emily, who has been a volunteer at the National Motor Museum since the age of 14, is starting a four-year apprenticeship which is being generously funded by a small group of Beaulieu One Hundred members....

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Apprentice Awards:

  • The Historic Motoring Awards

    Billy Strutt

    P & A Wood

    HMA Apprentice of the Year Award 2020 - winner.

  • The Historic Motoring Awards

    Max Payne

    Hillier Hill

    HMA Apprentice of the Year Award 2020 - shortlisted

  • The Historic Motoring Awards

    Jack Dormer

    Gentry Restorations

    HMA Apprentice of the Year Award 2020 - shortlisted

  • The Historic Motoring Awards

    Zack Whyte

    A. J. Glew

    HMA Apprentice of the Year Award 2020 - shortlisted

  • The Historic Motoring Awards

    Oliver Taylor-Lane

    Classic Performance Engineering

    HMA Apprentice of the Year Award 2020 - shortlisted

  • Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts Club Great Western Section Apprenticeship Awards

    Zack Whyte

    A. J. Glew

    RREC Classic Car Apprentices Awards 2019

  • Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts Club Great Western Section Apprenticeship Awards

    Simon Pickering

    Formhalls Vintage & Racing

    RREC Classic Car Apprentices Awards 2019

  • The Morris Minor Owners Club Apprentice of the Year Award

    Oliver Taylor-Lane

    Classic Performance Engineering

    MMOC Apprentice of the Year Award 2018

  • The Sir Henry Royce Memorial Foundation Apprentice of the Year Award

    Max Dempsey

    P & A Wood

    SHRMF Apprentice of the Year Award 2018

  • The Sir Henry Royce Memorial Foundation Apprentice of the Year Award

    Jay Lacey

    P & A Wood

    SHRMF Apprentice of the Year Award 2018

  • Heritage Engineering Apprenticeships Awards

    Awarded to John Pitchforth, founder of The Heritage Skills Academy in recognition of his contribution to the development of the Trailblazer Heritage Engineering Apprenticeship programme.

  • The Sir Henry Royce Memorial Foundation Apprentice of the Year Award

    Stewart Parkes

    Jonathan Wood Vintage Restorations

    SHRMF Apprentice of the Year Award 2017

  • The Sir Henry Royce Memorial Foundation Apprentice of the Year Award

    William Florey

    P & A Wood

    SHRMF Apprentice of the Year Award 2016

  • The Malcolm Davey Awards

    Eleanor Churchlow

    P & A Wood

    Apprentice of the Year 2016 - Special Mention

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Supported by:

  • Association of Heritage Engineers

    Association of Heritage Engineers

    The AOHE is a fast-growing collective movement of heritage engineering devotees.

    We have come together because a critical tipping-point has been reached where the cascade of specialist heritage repair skills is in decline and could be lost forever. Increasingly, policy-makers show a lack of understanding of the value our heritage assets bring to the economy, as well as wider society. Our movement is a platform to accelerate collaboration across all heritage sectors, regardless of specialism, to set and drive a national agenda.

  • Starter Motor

    Starter Motor

    Our passion is to see the next generation of young people driving, maintaining and enjoying historic cars. We know that if nothing is done, the world of classic motoring will begin to change and even disappear.

    We believe our old car world can provide a real haven in the digital age: enjoyment, adventure and community. It’s a place to belong; where friendship, common interest and mechanical fun are self evident; where things are repaired and not thrown away. StarterMotor is determined to ensure a big welcome to the historic motoring community for young people by supporting them in their ambitions and promoting access to classic cars.

    StarterMotor is a Registered Charity no. 1171312 based at Bicester Heritage in Oxfordshire.

  • The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs

    The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs

    The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs exists to uphold the freedom to use historic vehicles on the road. It does this by representing the interests of owners of such vehicles to politicians, government officials, and legislators both in the UK and (through the Federation Internationale des Vehicules Anciens) in Europe.

    The F.B.H.V.C. with the aid of The Galashan Trust and many others was instrumental in the creation of both the Levels 2 & 3 apprenticeship frameworks and of the Level 3 Heritage Engineering Apprenticeship Standard which replaced them in 2019.

  • The Galashan Trust

    The trust has supported the F.B.H.V.C. with the creation of both the levels 2 and 3 Vehicle Restoration Apprenticeships Frameworks and the more recent level 3 Heritage Engineering Apprenticeship Standard.

    It has helped establish the workshop facilities at Activate Learning's Bicester Heritage campus and more recently with the equipping of the Heritage Skills Academy at both their Bicester Heritage site and more recently-established campus at Brooklands Museum.

    The Galashan Trust is a charity registered in Scotland number SC040414.

  • Abingdon King Dick Tools
  • Association of Heritage Engineers
  • Beaulieu 100
  • Bicester Heritage
  • Brooklands Museum
  • The Coachmakers

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© 2020 Heritage Engineering Apprenticeships Trailblazer Group