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John Hayes unveils awards scheme for craft skills

Skills Minister John Hayes has announced a new awards scheme designed to raise the profile of teaching and learning in the UK’s craft sector.

The Craft Skills Awards will be open to practitioners and learners of all ages in a number of areas. They are being supported by Creative & Cultural Skills, the sector skills council, which will work with the industry to draw up a panel of craft specialists to judge the upcoming competitions. Creative & Cultural Skills aims to award a first round of prizes in spring 2013.

Speaking at the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community in London today, Hayes said: “Craft skills are a valued inheritance from our past; they enrich the present and are vital to our future. The sector contributes £3billion a year to the UK economy and helps to support the tourism industry and sustain our cultural heritage and sense of identity.

“I’m delighted to announce the introduction of a new set of awards for craft skills that recognise the excellence of craft practitioners and the work they do to keep these traditions alive for future generations to enjoy.”

Catherine Large, joint CEO of Creative & Cultural Skills, said: “We are delighted to be taking these developments forward in partnership with the craft sector. The Craft Skills Awards scheme will reward excellence in teaching, maintaining and developing both one’s own and others’ craft skills. The new Craft Apprenticeship is in an area where skills have traditionally been transferred in an apprenticeship model, and it is right to make additional effort to ensure that recognised Apprenticeship schemes can benefit the sector. Creative & Cultural Skills will be working in partnership with other Sector Skills Councils and the craft sector in its broadest sense to ensure that what we develop is fit for purpose and sustainable in the future.”

Natalie Thornhill

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