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Building Limes Training
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Context and Background The Heritage Council was established as a statutory body under the Heritage Act, 1995 to work in the public interest to promote the protection of heritage, support jobs, education and heritage tourism in local communities. Through its grant schemes, the Heritage Council supports a wide network of skilled heritage jobs including conservators, builders, thatchers, ecologists, archaeologists, conservation architects and museum curators through training, bursaries and expertise. A specific opportunity has been identified to provide accredited lime mortar works training in Ireland however there is no course in Ireland which gives participants a recognised qualification specifically in Lime Mortar application, knowledge and understanding at craft or professional level. To effectively design and run such a suitable course in the use of Lime Mortar, in conjunction with the BLFI and others, the Heritage Council would like to facilitate research into the pedagogical methods, course content and delivery mechanisms for existing courses in the UK. Project Objectives Our project is aimed at supporting the professional development of VET staff who currently provide voluntary training in the building conservation skill of preparing renders, plasters and mortars made with lime (CaO2) to help them acquire the additional knowledge and skills necessary to structure their own competencies in training and the craft to devise a curriculum and syllabus to accredit courses at master craft level in Ireland. This will include researching the ‘Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)’, as many of the target trainees in Ireland will have experience of working with this technology, but may not have received a comprehensive education or training, nor received the recognition that the skill they hold deserves. Through participation in this programme our key aims are to facilitate practitioners and trainers from VET training organisations in the following areas: • develop their professional teaching skills through observing and job shadowing their European counterparts • acquire knowledge of the design of courses in an established and internationally recognised host organisation • exchange experience on the running and delivery the courses in line with best practice. Number and Profile of Participants We have selected a cohort of VET staff to participate in the staff mobility programme because they would be involved in the design and delivery of accredited courses in the future. The selection criteria focusses on VET staff that have experience of training in the conservation of the built environment, and who have key individual contributions to make to curriculum development for a lime mortar master craftsman accreditation. We have selected the participants for the VET Staff Mobility through engaging with the Building Limes Forum Ireland (BLFI) and VET trainers who have been working in the Institutes of Technology (IoTs)who have, over the last sixteen years, been running short training courses to raise awareness and appreciation of the technology and techniques relating to lime mortars and renders at level 5 and 6. Description of Activities • To arrange international exchange of Irish trainers observing course at the Scottish Lime Centre Trust to help them to devise a curriculum for Traditional Limework Knowledge. The curriculum to include overarching conservation principles, and skill-specific ones, including recognising differing emphasis. • To exchange detailed information on syllabuses, accreditation standards and procedures between the partner organisations • To devise a working method Methodology to be used in carrying out the project The key method used to implement this project is a Project Management Plan, managed by the Project Co-ordinator with responsibility for logistics, communications, measurement and evaluation of the project. Results and Impact The learning outcomes of this project will be captured through quantative and qualitative means Long Term Benefit • Providing a skilled, competent and accredited workforce for a traditional building skill where no such accreditation exists • To mainstream a form of constructional knowledge that addresses the needs of a large proportion of the European, UK and Irish building stock, and which will contribute to effective thermal upgrading • To negotiate and agree international linkages, including common understandings of standards of competence, between masons working with lime across Europe The success of this project, it is hoped, will lead to the potential involvement of Irish partners in European-led KA2 Strategic Partnership to develop, co-ordinate and validate the proposed BLFI master craftsperson course against other European initiatives. The sustainability of the project With the involvement of BLFI, IoT and QQI, it will be possible to demonstrate the capacity to deliver the project within an institutional framework in future in Ireland.

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