Heritage Trade Skills. Report

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1 Heritage Trade Skills Report August 2012

2 This report is the result of a joint project funded by Construction & Property Services Industry Skills Council (CPSISC) and Heritage Victoria on behalf of the Heritage Chairs and Officials of Australia and New Zealand (HCOANZ) Chief Executive Officer CPSISC PO Box 151 Belconnen ACT 2616 This report was prepared by Georgie Cane of Performance Growth Pty Ltd. Version Control: Final Version Last updated 7 th September 2012 Page i

3 Table of Contents Overview and Summary Recommendations... 1 What Does Heritage Mean?... 2 Report of Research Findings... 2 Current and Future Training Structures... 2 Introduction... 1 Heritage Buildings Definitions and Scope... 2 Heritage Buildings and Heritage Skills... 3 The Burra Charter... 6 The Voice of Practitioners - Survey Findings... 7 The Respondents... 7 Attracting a Skilled Labour Force...12 Heritage Skill Development...15 More detail regarding skill gaps...15 When is a gap not a gap?...18 Skill Gaps and Training...18 The Way Ahead...21 Facing a Challenge Making Space for Heritage Skills in Trade Qualifications...21 Recognising Existing Skill Development Opportunities...23 Availability of Heritage Training Supply...26 Acknowledging the Need for Additional Skill Development...28 Using the Heritage Sector s Skills and Networks...30 Recommendations...31 APPENDICES Page ii

4 Overview and Summary Recommendations This report was prepared by Performance Growth Pty Ltd and was commissioned by the Construction & Property Services Industry Skills Council (CPSISC) and Heritage Victoria on behalf of the Heritage Chairs and Officials of Australia and New Zealand (HCOANZ). The report is one of a number that have been undertaken in recent years to consider the implications of a shrinking workforce of skilled heritage practitioners. The availability of a skilled workforce is of vital importance to ensuring the proper maintenance, renovation, restoration and conservation of the nation s stock of important or heritage buildings. The heritage sector has been concerned for many years about the diminishing availability of skilled tradespeople who can work sensitively, and using traditional skills, on heritage buildings. Other reports have also addressed the related, and no less important, need to ensure the availability of appropriate skills in architecture, design, town planning and building management. The provision of appropriately skilled tradespeople working in the heritage sector is limited, or challenged, by many factors including: The fact that apprenticeship trade training has an understandable focus on the development of contemporary building and construction skills required by all tradespeople across the nation leaving little room for the addition of specialist heritage skills. The low levels of delivery of existing national units of competency or qualifications that could meet or contribute to the heritage sector s skill needs. This difficulty may be caused by the low levels of demand for the training, the high cost of delivering the training, lack of awareness of the options available or the lack of skilled trainers. The difficulty of attracting tradespeople to undertake post trade or higher level training in heritage specialisms and the need to provide attractive and flexible skill development opportunities. The need to build awareness by Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) and industry of the available options for heritage skill development and to ensure the review and enhancement of the available offerings. The report has been informed by, and reports on, the conduct of ten in-depth interviews with practitioners ranging from educators and trainers to building designers, architects, tilers, painters and builders together with the detailed responses to a survey undertaken by 219 practitioners across the nation. In addition, previous research and reports undertaken have been reviewed. Page 1

5 What Does Heritage Mean? The report identifies that heritage and heritage skills are difficult concepts to neatly define. Heritage buildings can mean, at one extreme, the highly prized, old and rare examples of the built environment that are of great significance to our national history, identity and culture. Many of the skills required to work on such buildings are highly specialised and difficult to obtain. To others in the sector heritage may mean any older building that uses building materials and construction methods that are no longer current and where the skills to undertake the work are therefore not universally available. For example, the renovation of an architect designed 1960s house may require the use of materials and techniques that are no longer used in the construction of new builds. This latter definition casts a wide net but acknowledges that younger and recently trained tradespeople may not have the skills, experience, motivation or interest to work on such a building without close supervision and support. Report of Research Findings The report contains the findings of the substantial primary research that was undertaken to inform the project. The findings canvas the state of health of the heritage sector; identifies skills needed by the sector; identifies barriers to training take-up; reviews preferred training methods and reports on the means used by the sector to attract workers. Current and Future Training Structures The report analyses the existing national trade training structures and identifies that there is quite a significant number of units of competency and, indeed, qualifications that could meet or partially meet the skill development needs of tradespeople working in the heritage sphere. The issues surrounding the limited use of these units are also canvassed. The training system inevitably faces significant challenges in resourcing highly specialised and niche skill development requirements. Low levels of demand for training makes delivery costprohibitive and RTOs may also struggle to secure appropriately skilled trainers even when a demand exists. The report also supports the use of informal and industry based solutions to developing heritage trade skills and sharing the knowledge of skilled practitioners who may provide support and mentoring for newer practitioners. The report concludes with a small number of recommendations: It is recommended that: 1. CPSISC seek opportunities to enhance references to traditional skills in existing tradebased units of competency during future scheduled continuous improvement projects. Page 2

6 2. CPSISC and industry stakeholders work with RTOs to increase awareness of those existing units of competency and qualifications that can, and should, be used to build skills that support heritage competency development. 3. CPSISC, during future scheduled continuous improvement projects, seek to develop a small number of specialist units of competency addressing technical heritage skills for inclusion in the heritage restoration stream of CPC40611 Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Specialist Trades.) 4. CPSISC, during future scheduled continuous improvement projects, seek to develop one unit of competency to be made available within the elective pools of Certificate III level trade qualifications that addresses: the principles of heritage maintenance, renovation, restoration and conservation the building of underpinning knowledge of heritage work including the Burra Charter the provision of a framework for decision-making to ensure tradespeople could make sound decisions relating to the choice of materials and the processes to use within a heritage setting the provision of opportunities, within the specific trade skill of the qualification being undertaken, to practise skills relevant to the heritage setting. 5. RTOs, with the input of the heritage sector, respond to the need expressed by the sector for training to be delivered in a variety of forms including on campus, in a traditional training setting, but also in the workplace and using mentoring strategies. 6. Industry, led by the HCOANZ, seek to share a nation-wide database of informal heritage skill development programs and the contact details of skilled heritage practitioners who are prepared to share their skills and provide mentoring to younger practitioners. Page 3

7 Introduction The Construction & Property Services Industry Skills Council (CPSISC) is pleased to have the opportunity to submit this report that reviews the status of currently available heritage trade skills and identifies practical strategies to ensure the nation has access to the skills required to maintain, renovate, restore and conserve the nation s valuable building stock. This report has been informed by the conduct of ten in-depth interviews with practitioners ranging from educators and trainers to building designers, architects, tilers, painters and builders and detailed responses to a survey undertaken by 219 practitioners across the nation. In addition, previous research and reports undertaken have been reviewed. Of note, this includes the previous study commissioned by Heritage Victoria on behalf of the Heritage Chairs and Officials of Australia and New Zealand (HCOANZ) 1 and a recently completed study in Tasmania commissioned by the Tasmanian Building and Construction Industry Training Board (TBCITB) entitled Heritage Building and Construction Skills. 2 The research and consultation undertaken during this project has clearly identified a number of challenges: The proper maintenance and securing of the nation s valuable and important buildings is an important consideration for the entire community not just those engaged in the building and construction and heritage conservation sectors. Maintaining and securing the nation s stock of important or heritage buildings is within the province of a diverse range of stakeholders. The involvement of so many people in the process of heritage building maintenance and restoration means that there are many points in the process where poor decisions, lack of information, knowledge or skills or lack of money can result in less than optimal results. This range of stakeholders includes the owners of the buildings who must have a commitment and wish to restore and maintain the integrity of their building together with the designers, architects, heritage consultants, planners, builders and tradespeople who are all involved in the practical delivery of a heritage project. Heritage means different things in different areas of the country. The types of buildings that are identified as important or with heritage values in Tasmania will differ from those that may be found in Brisbane or Darwin. The construction methods that are used in these diverse regions will require differing trade skills to ensure good outcomes. For example, the skill to carve sandstone corbels that may be required for the restoration of a sandstone Georgian house in Tasmania would not necessarily be relevant to a tradesperson undertaking a renovation of a classic Queenslander house. 1 Godden Mackay Loggan; La Trobe University and Donald Horne Institute (2010), Heritage Trades and Professional Training Project: Final Report. 2 Purple Infinity (2012), Heritage Building and Construction Skills: Final Report. Page 1

8 The maintenance or restoration of heritage buildings, by definition, requires the application of skills and knowledge that are no longer in mainstream use within the building and construction industry. This brings inherent challenges in the community accessing appropriately skilled practitioners. Driven by market need and demand, the majority of construction trade training will continue to be focussed on the industry s and community s needs for contemporary trade skills. This does not mean that expertise in heritage trade skills cannot be fostered but that creative means, building on the base of existing trade training, must be found to ensure availability of the required skills. Heritage Buildings Definitions and Scope An early task is to consider what is meant by heritage trade skills. There is a general and real belief that there is a need for sufficient skills within the community to maintain, conserve and restore the nation s important building stock. It is, however, less clear whether age, or the period during which the building was constructed, is a good measure of what constitutes a heritage building. Certainly the importance of a building to its community or nation is not constrained by its age. The Sydney Opera House, the High Court National Gallery Precinct and the Point Cook Airbase sit alongside Rippon Lea House and Garden and the Port Arthur Historic Site on the National Heritage List. Many buildings are also included on State-based heritage registers that may not be easily categorised as old but they do enrich the community s understanding of its history and identity. The criteria for inclusion of a building on a State heritage register reinforce the relationship of the cultural value, uniqueness and aesthetic value of the built structure to its heritage importance. The South Australian criteria for inclusion on the register are shown as an example of those found across the nation. To be entered in the register a place must satisfy one or more of the following criteria: it demonstrates important aspects of the evolution or pattern of the state s history it has rare, uncommon or endangered qualities that are of cultural significance it may yield information that will contribute to an understanding of the state s history, including its natural history it is an outstanding representative of a particular class of places of cultural significance it demonstrates a high degree of creative, aesthetic or technical accomplishment or is an outstanding representative of particular construction techniques or design characteristics it has strong cultural or spiritual associations for the community or a group within it Page 2

9 it has a special association with the life or work of a person or organisation or an event of historical importance. 3 Heritage Buildings and Heritage Skills These sophisticated understandings of the factors that constitute a heritage building also create challenges for those involved in the training and development of tradespeople involved in the practical matters of renovating, maintaining, restoring or conserving the built environment. The first point to be made is that tradespeople with the skills to work sensitively and effectively on heritage or important buildings, where the integrity of the fabric must be respected, form only part of the chain of responsibility. A sound outcome depends on the effective work, and competency, of other professionals including heritage consultants, architects, designers, local government planning personnel, builders and site supervisors. In short, irrespective of the skills and knowledge of the tradespeople, a heritage project will only be successful if the all the planning, design, management and supervisory skills leading up to the commencement of work on the building have been conducted to appropriate standards. Project commissioning and brief Project design and planning Project review and approval Project management and quality supervision Project execution - the trades delivering the product Components of a successful heritage project Although there are many critical skills that must be deployed effectively by a range of professionals in order to deliver good heritage outcomes this does not in any way lessen the 3 Sourced: ment+applications/heritage+listing+and+significant+trees/heritage+listed+properties#the_sa_heritage_ Register (August 2012) Page 3

10 concerns that are held within the sector about the ability to source skilled tradespeople to work on sensitive and important renovation, restoration and conservation projects. There are, however, very diverse opinions about the range of skills required, and the level of their shortage. There are also very diverse views about the cause of these perceived skill gaps. Many people working in the heritage sector believe that all tradespeople require a range of broadly defined heritage skills while others believe there is a need for highly skilled specialists. Others believe that the lack of skills to work on heritage buildings is fundamentally the result of a changed focus in the training of apprentices away from traditional skills to those that are more responsive to modern construction materials and techniques. Sorry, but most trades have lost or don t even know about the traditional methods of construction and finishes. Training is now all about the here and now The reality is that the view taken by those involved in the Survey respondent heritage sector is likely to be influenced by their view of what constitutes heritage work. Those who are engaged in more complex and specialised work on important and old heritage stock can make a strong case for the need for very advanced and technically exacting skills in order to replicate the materials and methods of construction that are no longer taught. Others, who work on newer and more plentiful building stock but who are still seeking to achieve sensitive, appropriate and sympathetic renovation or restoration, can see the need for more broadly based skills across the entire trades workforce. What is clear is that the required heritage, or traditional, skills can only be developed by tradespeople who are competent operators and skilled in the contemporary trades. The foundation of strong technical trade skills must be laid before more advanced or specialised skills can be developed and used. There is also concern within the sector that the workforce with the necessary heritage trade skills is aging and that strategies are not in place to refresh and bolster the workforce and the available skills. Heritage trade skill shortages are, indeed, a worldwide problem. This range of views is understandable and appropriate but adds to the difficulty in determining the best means of ensuring the heritage sector, and the community at large, have access to the required heritage or traditional trade skills. It is not simply a matter of ensuring better trained apprentices in traditional or heritage techniques nor of creating a new and larger workforce comprising heritage specialists. The diversity of the building stock (in age and the construction techniques required to maintain and renovate it) requires multiple approaches. Below is a chart that shows the relationship of required trade skills to the age of the building. This is intended to emphasise that heritage or traditional trade skills are on a continuum, as is the nature of work being undertaken. Page 4

11 Age of Building Requiring recently replaced building methods Requiring most complex heritage restoration Restoring inter-war house using non current building materials and methods Undertaking detailed conservation and restoration work on important heritage building and requiring manufacture of period products and application of rare techniques Undertaking sympathetic renovation of 1960s architect designed house using non current building materials and techniques Applying specialist trade skills to ensure authentic application of building materials (tuck pointing bricks, fireplace construction, application of appropriate heritage colour paint or wallpaper) Competent Tradesperson Master Heritage Trades Skills Level of Specialist It is reasonable to assume that a competent and vigilant tradesperson who is well supervised and has been given clear work instructions could deploy his or her existing skills to undertake the work in the example shown in the bottom left-hand quadrant - a 1960s architect designed house undergoing renovation. This goes to the heart of competency which is not just about the demonstration of skills and knowledge in the workplace but the application of that skill and knowledge in different settings. In short, a competent tradesperson should be able to problemsolve and apply skills in different contexts. In contrast, in the top-right hand quadrant a dramatically different situation is shown. In this case highly specialised skills and knowledge are required to work on a significant, and old, heritage building. In this situation a master tradesperson would be required to use very particular skills to ensure that the restoration and conservation work was faithful to the time of the original build. This takes the application of skills and the analysis and use of building methods and materials a significant distance from contemporary building techniques. In this scenario a tradesperson maybe required to manufacture materials that are no longer commercially available and employ construction methods that are similarly no longer used in typical new builds. For example, tradespeople working on such a job may have to research and cast decorative plaster moulds, manufacture and match decorative fret work, undertake the matching of timber replacements in a decorative staircase, match and repair complex tessellated paving or make paint for applied finishes. In between these cases is a large volume of the nation s building stock that may require, for example, the skills to renovate or restore older houses (including inter-war houses). These may Page 5

12 require a range of skills such as the ability to replace and refurbish sash windows, replace matching wall dados or picture rails and refresh plaster work with sensitivity to the period. The Burra Charter Although there is diversity in heritage buildings and construction methods there are also quite clear guiding principles that are generally recognised as being of importance in the conservation and management of all heritage assets. Australia, in common with 83 other countries, belongs to the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) which is a non-governmental professional organisation formed in Australia s national ICOMOS committee, formed in 1976, manages and promulgates the Burra Charter. The Burra Charter was first adopted in 1979 at the historic South Australian mining town of Burra and provides guidance for the conservation and management of places of cultural significance (cultural heritage places), and is based on the knowledge and experience of Australian ICOMOS members. 4 The Burra Charter promotes a do no harm approach and identifies a range of principles including the need to seek to conserve, for future generations, places deemed of cultural significance and to adopt a cautious approach to any renovation or change to the fabric of the place. Some of the key principles that are subscribed to are embodied in the following articles: Article 2 Conservation and management 2.1 Places of cultural significance should be conserved. 2.2 The aim of conservation is to retain the cultural significance of a place. 2.3 Conservation is an integral part of good management of places of cultural significance. 2.4 Places of cultural significance should be safeguarded and not put at risk or left in a vulnerable state. Article 3 Cautious approach 3.1 Conservation is based on a respect for the existing fabric, use, associations and meanings. It requires a cautious approach of changing as much as necessary but as little as possible. 3.2 Changes to a place should not distort the physical or other evidence it provides, nor be based on conjecture. Article 4 Knowledge, skills and techniques 4.1 Conservation should make use of all the knowledge, skills and disciplines which can contribute to the study and care of the place. 4 The Burra Charter: The Australia ICOMOS Charter for Places of Cultural Significance (1999) Page 6

13 4.2 Traditional techniques and materials are preferred for the conservation of significant fabric. In some circumstances modern techniques and materials which offer substantial conservation benefits may be appropriate. The Voice of Practitioners - Survey Findings The survey and interview process that has supported the development of this report saw the conduct of ten in-depth interviews with practitioners ranging from educators and trainers to building designers, architects, tilers, painters and builders. In addition, an online survey was conducted that saw an extremely positive level of involvement with 219 usable responses. Of these it must be noted that not all respondents answered all the questions. The interviews and surveys added to the understanding of the challenges facing the heritage trade training sector and reinforced the need for continuing work to ensure a continuity, or indeed enhanced, access to the required heritage trade skills. The findings of the research phase follow. The Respondents The respondents held positions across a broad range of occupations and fulfilled a diversity of roles. Of the 127 practitioners who completed this question 31.5% classified themselves as builders, 26% as carpenters, 22% as heritage trade specialists and 20.5% as plasterers (see Chart 1 below). Page 7

14 Builder Building site supervisor Carpenter Joiner Plumber Bricklayer Plasterer Painter & decorator Concreter Stone mason Roofer Glazer Dry stone wall builder Building designer Architect Property Developer Licensed Builder Building Company Owner Building/Construction Tradesperson (Generalist) Heritage Trade Specialist What role do you have within your business? 35.0% 30.0% 25.0% 20.0% 15.0% 10.0% 5.0% 0.0% 31.5% 26.0% 18.1% 11.8% 5.5% 20.5% 15.7% 15.0% 13.4% 8.7% 5.5% 0.8% 22.0% 16.5% 13.4% 11.0% 8.7% 8.7% 9.4% 2.4% 2.4% Chart 1: Response to Question 3.2 Note: respondents could select more than one option. Totals do not equal 100% The respondents were also drawn from a broad range of trades and sectors. The results of the 186 responses received to this question can be found below (Chart 2). Page 8

15 Residential building Commercial/industrial building Carpentry Joinery Plumbing Bricklaying Plastering Painting & decorating Concreting Flooring and tiling Stone masonry Roofing and tiling Glazing Dry stone walling Building design/architecture 70.0% 60.0% 50.0% 40.0% 30.0% 20.0% 10.0% 0.0% Which sector or sectors of the construction industry do you operate in? 60.2% 48.4% 31.7% 16.1% 19.4% 24.2% 22.0% 11.3% 14.0% 18.3% 15.1% 9.1% 3.8% 7.0% 14.0% Chart 2: Response to Question 3.1 Note: respondents could select more than one option. Totals do not equal 100% The responses were also drawn from a wide geographic catchment but it is also interesting to note that although, as anticipated, the majority of respondents worked for smaller enterprises there was also significant representation from larger employers including those employing up to 199 and more people. Although Heritage work is largely the province of smaller companies the interest and role of larger firms must also be considered. Page 9

16 How many people are employed in your organisation? Answer Options Response Count ACT NSW NT QLD SA TAS VIC WA AUS Total NZ answered question 172 Table 1: Response to Question 4.1 When asked about the volume of heritage work that is undertaken, respondents indicated that, for the majority, heritage work is not the dominant component of their business. What percentage of your business turnover in a typical year comes from heritage work? Answer Options Response Percent Response Count 100% All my work is in the heritage area 2.1% 3 80% The majority of my work is in the heritage area 3.4% 5 60% More than half of my work is in the heritage area 2.8% 4 40% Almost half of my work is in the heritage area 7.6% 11 20% A small part of my work is in the heritage area 26.2% 38 Less than 20% I do not do very much work is in the heritage area 57.9% 84 answered question 145 Table 2: Response to Question 5.2 It is evident, however, that respondents would like to increase their level of involvement in the field with 77% indicating they would like to increase their level of heritage restoration work, as a percentage, of their business, over the next 1 to 3 years. The respondents businesses were experiencing varying level of demand by their customers with the majority (63%) experiencing diminishing or quiet trading conditions. Page 10

17 How would you describe current customer demand for work requiring specialist heritage trade skills? Diminishing 17.8% Quiet Steady Healthy 5.5% 30.1% 45.2% Booming Healthy Steady Quiet Diminishing Booming 1.4% 0.0% 20.0% 40.0% 60.0% Chart 3: Response to Question 5.3 The employment patterns during the past 12 months, not unsurprisingly, reflect the trading conditions being experienced. The majority of companies are holding employment steady, which may reflect a strategy to retain needed specialist skills, while more companies are decreasing employment than increasing it. During the past 12 months we have: Decreased numbers of employees considerably Decreased number of employees moderately Held employment levels steady 59 Increased numbers of employees moderately 23 Increased numbers of employees considerably Chart 4: Response to Question 6.1 Page 11

18 Employment opportunities looked more optimistic when respondents were asked about their recruiting intentions over the forthcoming 12 months (Chart 5, below). There is evidence that employment levels would be retained or increased while far fewer were expecting to decrease staff levels. During the next 12 months we plan to: Decrease number of employees considerably 4 Decrease number of employees moderately 10 Hold employment levels steady 78 Increase number of employees moderately 29 Increase number of employees considerably Chart 5: Response to Question 6.2 Attracting a Skilled Labour Force Of concern, respondents are experiencing difficulty recruiting appropriately skilled workers to undertake heritage projects - which inevitably places constraints on business growth and limits opportunities for employers who are seeking to recruit in the future. Do you have difficulty recruiting or contracting people with sufficient and appropriate skills to work on Heritage projects? No, 32.8% Yes, 67.2% Chart 6: Response to Question 6.3 Page 12

19 Young people are not attracted to working on heritage buildings There are not enough skilled people to employ We have trouble competing on pay and conditions Work availability is too patchy employees are more interested in working on new builds or standard We cannot offer career pathways to attract skilled people There are not good training opportunities The skills and standard of work required are too demanding for many tradespeople This experience is supported by respondents to in-depth interviews who acknowledged the substantial challenge in recruiting skills workers. A subsequent question (Chart 7, below) that explored the reasons for the difficulty in recruiting workers provides stark evidence of both a lack of available skilled staff and patchy availability of heritage related work that leads younger employees to seek work on new builds or standard renovations where work is more consistently available. Approximately a quarter of respondents also indicated that they were not able to compete for workers on pay and conditions nor are they able to offer attractive career pathways for potential new tradespeople working in the heritage sector. Responses to this question also elicited results that point to a lack of confidence in the approach and attitude of prospective employees, as well concern about their skill levels. More than half (54.4%) of respondents who answered the question indicated that the level of skills and standard of the work required was too demanding for prospective workers. Supporting this concern is the belief by almost half of the respondents (46.7%) that there are not good training opportunities to build skills in heritage related work. If you answered yes to the previous question, what do you think are the key reasons for this difficulty? 80.0% 70.0% 60.0% 50.0% 40.0% 30.0% 20.0% 35.6% 71.1% 23.3% 50.0% 25.6% 46.7% 54.4% 10.0% 0.0% Chart 7: Response to Question 6.4 Note: respondents could select more than one option. Totals do not equal 100% Page 13

20 I can t find ready made tradespeople skilled in heritage work and I have to train them myself I approach TAFE or other trainer and ask for advice about people who have completed specialist heritage training Word of mouth within the industry Advertising in newspapers or on the Internet I recruit specialists from overseas Not applicable - I have not hired skilled heritage tradespeople The difficulty in being able to employ ready skilled workers was reinforced when respondents were asked how they had previously found employees to work in the heritage sector. Approximately one third simply opted to train their staff, on-the-job, while a similar number relied on word of mouth referral within the industry. More than a third had in fact not hired skilled heritage trade skill practitioners. How have you previously found employees to work in the heritage sector? 40.0% 35.0% 32.5% 37.4% 35.0% 30.0% 25.0% 20.0% 15.0% 10.0% 5.0% 13.0% 9.8% 3.3% 0.0% Chart 8: Response to Question 6.5 Note: respondents could select more than one option. Totals do not equal 100% In further comments to this question some respondents noted that they have trained people on the job by close supervision and use older experienced tradespersons who have strong skills and patience to undertake the work. A workplace committed to maintaining the fabric of buildings indicated that they train the newbies in the art of restoration rather than replacement. Concern was noted that TAFE do not have courses to offer people the skills required in, for example, heritage roofing work. To address perceived gaps in the national Training Package suite of qualifications local State-based training is being developed and funded to a certain extent. Page 14

21 Heritage Skill Development Survey and in-depth interview respondents agree strongly that additional skills, beyond that acquired by qualified tradespeople through their apprenticeship, are required in order to work effectively within the heritage sector. Do you believe qualified tradespeople require additional top up skills (beyond those gained in their apprenticeship training) to work successfully in heritage restoration / renovation? No 8.3% Yes 91.7% Chart 9: Response to Question 7.1 More detail regarding skill gaps This question drew substantial additional comments provided by respondents to the survey and was reinforced by participants in the in-depth interviews. They noted a myriad of issues that identify, in part, a range of overarching issues leading to skill gaps within heritage trade skills. The range of skills identified as being in short supply and where top up skill development is required were highly diverse and, as expected, trade specific. These included: Page 15

22 Trade Area Skill Gaps Building Management Sourcing of skilled subcontractors Working with teams of heritage specialists Understanding of planning and heritage requirements and traditional building techniques Planning complex work and sourcing materials Supervising work and ensuring quality and authenticity Seeking exemptions from planning requirements if essential Carpentry and Joinery Use of hand tools to match construction methods on highly sensitive buildings Heritage timber conservation including flashings, mouldings and timber replacements Period-specific construction and replacement of windows, wide architraves, skirting boards, window linings, verandahs, eaves etc Restoration of sash windows including sash cord replacement Application of fine joinery techniques including mortice and tenon joints Fireplace sub floor framing Renovation, matching and construction of stairs Bricklaying Arch construction Tuck pointing using lime mortar Identification of appropriate mortars and their preparation including selection of suitable sands Traditional methods of chimney and fireplace remediation and building Remediation of rising damp Stonemasonry Dry stone construction Rubble wall construction Restoration of stone Working with hydraulic lime and correct application in stone building Use of appropriate stone cleaning technology Correct set out and bonding of stonework to openings and arches Banker masonry skills to carve stones into intricate shapes required by a building s design Drawing techniques for carving Page 16

23 Trade Area Skill Gaps Tiling Remediation and construction of traditional tessellated tiling Mortar fixing of tiles and screeding of cement beds Recreation of tile patterns mathematically Tiling of staircases Plastering Restoration and replacement of traditional lath and plaster Solid plastering Stucco finishes Fibrous plastering and manufacture including domes, cornices, arches, vault ceilings, plinths and corbels Setting out decorative archways Running patterns in decorative cornice work Taking moulds from existing decorative work and manufacturing components Painting and decorating Research skills and testing to match paints and finish in heritage buildings Sympathetic and appropriate paint removal and remediation to substrate Research and technically accurate application of traditional decorative paint finishes including stencilling, marbelling, gilding, distemper, lime washing, waxing, oiling and staining Heritage wallpapering Workplace health and safety issues associated with working with lead paint Roof plumbing Working with copper, zinc and lead roofing and walling including standing seam roof and walling, batten seamed roof and walling Refurbish and construct of lead, copper and zinc capping, flashing, gutter and downpiping (including proper application of standards and plumbing regulations) Roof tiling and slating Remediation of roofs with traditional materials eg slate and shingles Many participants in the in-depth interviews and survey respondents also expressed general concern about a lack of skill in using traditional tools, most particularly hand tools, which is Page 17

24 frequently required to replicate traditional techniques. A lack of interest in, or understanding of, traditional construction techniques was also a widely expressed concern. Of those who are engaged and interested in the heritage sector there are apparent concerns about a lack of depth of understanding about heritage matters and the underpinning principles contained within the Burra Charter. Although it has probably always been a concern, and an issue that is difficult to remedy, many respondents also reported that more recently trained tradespeople did not exhibit great pride in their work or an appreciation of how their work contributed to the completion of the total project. When is a gap not a gap? It will be discussed in more detail later in this report but it should be noted that a major skill development issue facing the heritage sector is not that national trade qualifications are totally bereft of units of competency that reflect heritage trade skills but that these are not always made available or taken up by either the industry or RTOs. Skill Gaps and Training Eighty seven percent (87%) of respondents to the survey overwhelming identified that there were significant heritage trade skill gaps across their sector. The table below shows that although the major focus of respondents was the need to up-skill existing tradespeople in specific heritage skills (71.4%) that the need for training in basic trade skills (52.1%) and upskilling of existing tradespeople in other non heritage trade skills (47.9%) was also identified as being of importance. As a general guide what type of training do you think you and your business will need within the next 1-2 years? 71.4% 52.1% 47.9% Traineeship and Apprenticeship Training in basic trade skills Up-skilling of existing tradespeople in specific heritage skills Up-skilling of existing tradespeople in other nonheritage skills Chart 10: Response to Question 8.1 Note: respondents could select more than one option. Totals do not equal 100% Page 18

25 Looking further ahead, respondents saw similar levels of need for skill development within their businesses. Looking ahead 3-5 years, what type of training do you think you and your business will need? 80.0% 70.0% 60.0% 50.0% 40.0% 30.0% 20.0% 10.0% 0.0% 57.3% Traineeship and Apprenticeship Training in basic trade skills 75.2% Up-skilling of existing tradespeople in specific heritage skills 44.4% Up-skilling of existing tradespeople in other nonheritage skills Chart 11: Response to Question 8.2 Note: respondents could select more than one option. Totals do not equal 100% Sixty percent (60%) of respondent indicated that they experienced barriers in accessing the heritage skills training that they required. Of the 60% who experienced barriers, the following reasons were cited: Page 19

26 If you answered yes to the previous question, what are the major barriers to heritage skills training you and your workers experience? 70.0% 60.0% 50.0% 40.0% 30.0% 20.0% 10.0% 0.0% 63.5% I cannot find a registered training organisation (RTO) to deliver the specialist heritage skills training 39.7% I cannot find an RTO to deliver training when and where I need it 20.6% It is too complicated to work out how to access training 30.2% 30.2% 28.6% I cannot release staff to do the training The quality of the training has not been good enough in the past Training is too expensive Chart 13: Response to Question 8.4 Note: respondents could select more than one option. Totals do not equal 100% This demonstrates that while matters internal to the business, namely that staff cannot be released to do training or it is too expensive, are important that the majority of barriers are associated with lack of access to appropriate training. Respondents were also relatively equally divided between a preference for off-the-job training (56.1%) and in-house coaching and mentoring (52.8%) as means of developing the required skills. Page 20

27 What type of training methods do you prefer to use to develop your employees? 60.0% 50.0% 40.0% 30.0% 20.0% 10.0% 0.0% 52.8% In-house, using mentoring and coaching 33.3% In-house, delivering recognised national qualifications 56.1% Off-the-job with an RTO delivering recognised national qualifications 34.1% Off-the-job with an RTO delivering short courses 26.8% Industry Association short courses not leading to a recognised qualification Chart 14: Response to Question 8.5 Note: respondents could select more than one option. Totals do not equal 100% The Way Ahead There is strong acceptance by a significant body of interviewees and survey respondents that the ageing of the workforce and the diminution of traditional trade skills is having an effect on the availability of tradespeople able to work in the heritage sector. This skill shortage is amplified by the key fact that as contemporary building methods evolve new tradespeople entering the industry will be trained in those techniques leaving a widening gap between the skills of the bulk of the workforce and those required by building and construction companies working on heritage or important buildings requiring sensitive renovation, restoration and conservation. Facing a Challenge Making Space for Heritage Skills in Trade Qualifications It is, however, unlikely that the national training system for tradespeople will give equal weight to the development of heritage skills and to the raft of other vital and competing techniques related to, for example, the building of energy efficient structures or the safe handling of asbestos or the application of current high performing construction materials. This is not to say that skills that will enable appropriate performance on heritage projects are not important or Page 21

28 required but simply that the weight of demand for skills in contemporary building techniques will continue to outweigh the demand for heritage trade skills. Compounding the issue of demand is the fact that all apprenticeship qualifications are already large, taxing and time consuming to complete. The reason for the size of existing qualifications is that the trades are complex and address a wide range of essential skills including workplace health and safety, tool use and other industry skills in addition to technical skills. It is, therefore, not easy to create space within current qualifications for additional units of competency to be undertaken in an attempt to broaden the range of skills that are taught at the Certificate III or trade level. The following examples of the size of current qualifications are provided to illustrate this point: Qualification Code CPC20511 CPC30111 CPC30211 CPC30611 CPC30811 CPC31011 CPC31311 CPC31911 CPC32011 CPC32211 CPC32311* CPC32611 Qualification Title Certificate II in Stoneworking Certificate III in Bricklaying/Blocklaying Certificate III in Carpentry Certificate III in Painting and Decorating Certificate III in Roof Tiling Certificate III in Solid Plastering Certificate III in Wall and Floor Tiling Total Number of Units for Completion Number of Core Units Certificate III in Joinery Certificate III in Carpentry and Joinery Certificate III in Joinery (Stairs) Certificate III in Stonemasonry (Monumental/Installation) Certificate III in Roof Plumbing Number of Elective Units Page 22

29 Note: currently the qualification is being enhanced It is also a fundamental principle of competency based training that the skills should be relevant to and applied in the workplace. The majority of construction employers who do not undertake complex heritage restoration (as opposed to the renovation of older homes eg builds) would not have the opportunity to develop and hone the heritage trade skills of apprentices in the workplace. Recognising Existing Skill Development Opportunities While existing trade qualifications are already large and focussed on the skills needed by the majority of tradespeople, this does not mean that specific skills that would support heritage work are not currently available within trade qualifications. While the availability of such units varies across qualifications there are very clear examples of where units are available and could be packaged in existing qualifications. The concern is that either this is not happening or is not sufficient (and appropriate) emphasis is not being given to those aspects of the units of competency. For example: Qualification Code CPC20511 CPC30111 Qualification Title Certificate II in Stoneworking Certificate III in Bricklaying/Blocklaying Existing Units that are available Qualification relevant as a whole In addition to core units addressing skills such as constructing masonry arches are elective units with direct application in a heritage setting includings: CPCCBL3012A Construct fireplaces and chimneys CPC30211 CPC30611 Certificate III in Carpentry Certificate III in Painting and Decorating CPCCBL3015A Construct decorative brickwork More general skills without specific heritage units available although two elective units could be imported to the qualification that would bolster heritage skills In addition to essential skills in painting and decorating that provide a basis for heritage work a range of elective units are available including: CPCCPD3012A Apply advanced wallpaper techniques CPCCPD3014A Apply advanced decorative paint finishes CPCCSP3003A Apply trowelled text coat Page 23

30 Qualification Code CPC30811 CPC31011 CPC31311 CPC31911 CPC32011 CPC32211 Qualification Title Certificate III in Roof Tiling Certificate III in Solid Plastering Certificate III in Wall and Floor Tiling Certificate III in Joinery Certificate III in Carpentry and Joinery Certificate III in Joinery (Stairs) Existing Units that are available finishes The following unit is vailable in core and could be used to provide skill development for wide range of roof types and roofing materials: CPCCRT3004A Repair and renovate tile roofs Qualification relevant as a whole The qualification contains core units that provide scope to focus upon heritage skills including: CPCCWF3004A Repair wall and floor tiles CPCCWF3064A Carry out mosaic tiling A relevant elective unit is also available: CPCCWF3005A Carry our decorative tiling note this includes: o ceramic o glass o porcelain o stone o terracotta o tessellated More general skills without specific heritage units available although two elective units could be imported to the qualification that would bolster heritage skills. Joinery and stair making are available. More general skills without specific heritage units available although two elective units could be imported to the qualification that would bolster heritage skills. Joinery and stair making are available. The specificity of this qualification provides scope for heritage requirements to be addressed across a range of units. Page 24

31 Qualification Code CPC32311 Qualification Title Certificate III in Stonemasonry (Monumental/Installation) Existing Units that are available Qualification relevant as a whole There is also a group of specific heritage units of competency contained within the CPC40611 Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Specialist Trades). These units, shown below, were designed to support in particular: builders and site supervisors working to deliver high quality projects competent tradespeople who are seeking to develop and extend their skill into the heritage area. The post-trade units are: Heritage restoration stream: CPCCBC4035A Initiate the heritage works process CPCCBC4036A Prepare to undertake the heritage restoration process CPCCBC4037A Prepare drawings for heritage works CPCCBC4038A Prepare work plans for restoration work CPCCBC4039A Undertake the heritage restoration process CPCCBC4040A Prepare report for heritage restoration work Note: For convenience, these units are included in the appendix It is believed that there are real opportunities to extend the availability and use of these existing units as a rapid response to the skill shortage problem. It should also be noted that this cluster of units address in specific detail the principles and processes underpinning heritage work including careful researching of appropriate solutions and the application of the Burra Charter. There may be arguments for the review and enhancement of some of the existing units shown above but it must also be acknowledged that there is scope within current national trade training and at Certificate IV level to commence the process of developing tradespeople with an understanding of principles of heritage work. In addition, in order to provide options for specialist heritage businesses without mandating use for all tradespeople, it would also be beneficial to have the option of an elective unit of competency within Certificate III level trade qualifications that addressed: the principles of heritage renovation, restoration and conservation the building of underpinning knowledge of heritage work including the Burra Charter Page 25

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