Blog Article

NVQ Level 3 heritage restoration and skill building with the Tywi Centre

NVQ Level 3 heritage restoration and skill building with the Tywi Centre


We are delighted to unveil a fantastic new project that we are coordinating in collaboration with Carmarthenshire’s Tywi Centre that promises to redefine heritage preservation and construction skills in our region.

Thanks to support from the UK Government's Levelling Up Fund, Carmarthenshire Council and CITB, we're embarking on a transformative journey to empower our local craftspeople and secure the future of our cherished historic buildings.

Comprehensive training

At the heart of this initiative lies an NVQ Level 3 training and work placement programme designed for six students specialising in heritage stonemasonry, carpentry, and plastering. These students will undergo four weeks of intensive construction training at the Tywi Centre, followed by a year of assessment and invaluable placements with local companies involved in heritage projects. This hands-on experience will equip them with the expertise required for the qualification and prepare them for the job market.

In addition to this core programme, the Tywi Centre is offering supplementary Level 3 PAS2035 Trustmark accredited training in Energy Efficiency Measures for Older Buildings and Level 3 accredited Repair and Maintenance of Traditional Buildings. These courses will be available to 58 local contractors, enriching their skills in a niche yet essential market.

Net Zero Wales sustainability goals

With approximately one-third of Wales's housing stock being traditionally constructed (equating to 500,000 homes), our project aligns seamlessly with the Net Zero Wales goals. It focuses on providing training that ensures the preservation and retrofitting of our existing housing stock, extending beyond listed buildings. This is a vital step toward reducing emissions and working toward a more sustainable future for our communities.

The Tywi Centre

The Tywi Centre, situated at Dinefwr Farm in Llandeilo, is on a mission to provide individuals responsible for preserving or working on old buildings with the knowledge, skills, and materials needed for sensitive and appropriate repairs. Its objective is to ensure the longevity of both listed and non-listed historic structures for generations to come.

The Tywi Centre's facilities include classroom space for up to 20 participants, an area for displays about old buildings, and specialised training facilities, including a plastering workshop, an outdoor rendering practice area, a carpentry workshop, and a stonemasonry training space.

While the Tywi Centre is already known for its SAPs training, it holds a unique distinction as the sole organisation delivering this qualification in the UK. Moreover, it is one of only two organisations in Wales offering the L3 Award in Repair and Maintenance and Energy Efficiency Measures in traditional buildings.

Notably, the Tywi Centre's courses have gained significant popularity among architects and engineers, emphasising the growing recognition of the importance of traditional skills and materials in refurbishment, and retrofit projects. This critical knowledge is poised to reshape the landscape of future construction and restoration endeavours, preserving the essence of Wales's architectural heritage whilst also addressing the issue of sustainability.

A significant demand

The necessity for these skills is evident. Owners of listed buildings often encounter difficulties in finding skilled craftsmen and women to work on their properties. In Carmarthenshire, where traditional buildings play a pivotal role in the economic rejuvenation of historic towns, understanding the nuances of appropriate repair and retrofitting is crucial for the longevity of our building stock.

Recent assessments of six Carmarthenshire towns have revealed extensive building defects that affect the long-term sustainability and visual appeal of these areas. The recommended solution is to engage suitably qualified craftspeople to undertake repairs to historic shop fronts and commercial buildings. Here at Cyfle, we recognise the importance of fostering traditional building skills and addressing the current training gaps in the construction sector, making this collaboration with the Tywi Centre pivotal.

Positive impact

This project not only provides carpenters, plasterers, and stonemasons/bricklayers in South-West Wales with the opportunity to attain NVQ Level 3 qualifications in Heritage Skills but also allows them to diversify their construction skills and gain valuable work experience. The recruitment process will prioritise those who might not otherwise have access to training funding, including sole traders, individuals not employed by CITB-registered construction companies, those seeking retraining due to unemployment, or those looking to upskill for this unique market.

Additionally, local companies aiming to enhance their employees' skills with accredited Level 3 qualifications in Repair and Maintenance and Energy Efficiency will reap the benefits. The project expects to see six students trained and awarded NVQ Level 3 qualifications, making them highly valuable assets for the heritage construction sector. Furthermore, the region will witness appropriate repairs, maintenance, and retrofitting, contributing to the sustainability of our historic buildings.

This collaboration between the Tywi Centre and us, here at Cyfle, is not just about training; it's about creating opportunities for local construction businesses in the region. The Tywi Centre and Cyfle will provide support, networking opportunities, information, and continuous professional development to our beneficiaries.

An enduring legacy

The impact of this project extends far beyond its timeline. By investing in local talent and upskilling our workforce, we aim to secure a future where the preservation of historic buildings rests in capable hands. The legacy of these trained craftspeople will continue to shape the sector, ensuring the authenticity and durability of our region's historic treasures.