Skills in the Heritage Sector in Northern Ireland

Date published: 18 January 2019

Last updated: 02 November 2020

Reports published in 2009 and 2018 examined the state of demand, supply and training provision in the built heritage sector. Consequently, the Department for Communities Historic Environment Division (HED), in partnership with The Prince’s Foundation launched the pilot NI Heritage Skills Programme.

The Programme launched in July 2020 and will train six bursary students to NVQ Level 3 in Heritage Skills during 2020-21. They’ll study as part of HED’s Conservation Works Team working on HED state care monuments, and be based at HED’s Heritage Skills Centre in Moira. They will be supervised, and assessed in terms of the NVQ, by HED staff as part of our accredited Heritage Skills Centre.

The six successful students started on the Programme on Monday 26 October 2020.


In 2009, the National Heritage Training Group in partnership with the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) GB and CITB NI, published a report outlining the state of demand, supply and training provision within the built heritage sector across the whole of Ireland. Two reports; including a larger research report and a summary report were produced. 

Through the 2017-18 Historic Environment Fund, HED commissioned CITB NI to carry out further research to provide an update position for Northern Ireland only.  The research was carried out between February and April 2018 and published in June 2018.

This 2018 report aims to provide an overview of the current situation in the heritage sector in Northern Ireland in terms of demand for, and supply of, skills, training provision and, importantly, to provide a number of recommendations to assist the sector to develop its training capacity going forward.

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