The Foundation degree offers stonemasons, carpenters, electricians and most recently plumbers a recognised career path and a route to higher-level qualifications through a two-year work-based study programme.
Run by the CWF and sponsored by Gloucester-based insurer Ecclesiastical, the programme covers a range of practical work-based topics including principles of stone and wood construction, historic building conservation and environmental and sustainability initiatives.
The eleven graduates received their awards from Stephen Marston, vice chancellor of the University of Gloucestershire in front of friends, family, the Master of the Worshipful Company of Masons, Christopher Radmore and this year’s new students who started their degree programme the following day. The graduation ceremony was held as part of Gloucester Cathedral’s Evensong Service.
Gloucester Cathedral is one of nine members of the CWF programme, which also includes Exeter, Worcester and Salisbury. It has benefitted directly from the programme, with several graduates working on the maintenance and restoration of the Cathedral over the years.
Adrian Munns OBE, administrator for the CWF, congratulated the graduates during the service and thanked the programmes sponsors. In a speech at the ceremony, he said: “Congratulations to our new graduates who have worked so hard over the past two years to earn their places here today. It has been a great journey and I hope you will look back on it with pride for what you have achieved, and for the friends you have made along the way. Your achievements are excellent by any measure, and I offer every best wish to you for the future”.
“To our several sponsors – thank you; we have been hugely grateful for the substantial and ongoing support we have received from you, and without that support we would not be here today”.
Chris Pitt, corporate responsibility manager at Ecclesiastical added: “We are really proud to be able to continue our sponsorship of the CWF programme. We have some of the most incredible and beautiful buildings here in the UK and, without investment in heritage skills, many would be at risk of falling in to disrepair.
“Ecclesiastical is committed to supporting heritage skills through its work with organisations such as the CWF to preserve the UK’s historic properties for generations to come.”