Following our 10th Birthday - Heritage Consultant, Lee Bilson, spoke to CITB about how their CITB Skills and Training Fund helps Recclesia preserve heritage skills for the future and develop and grow our team.
The funding from CITB is integral for our staff and our business to grow, and has helped us implement our training schedule in a fully inclusive manner. Our team is our business and needs to be the best it possibly can be. Everyone at Recclesia is supporting one another’s development and learning from each other, which is securing traditional conservation skills and craftsmanship for the future.
As the name subtly suggests, the restoration of ecclesiastical architecture is at the heart of Recclesia – an historic building conservation contractor based in Chester, North Wales.
The firm, which is celebrating its tenth birthday, prides itself on providing clients with expertise in stonemasonry, stained glass, timber conservation and metalwork.
Like his father, Recclesia’s Managing Director Jamie Moore lives and breathes heritage conservation. In fact, the firm of 25 – which recently secured £5,000 from CITB’s Skills and Training Fund – has a number of father and son members amongst their team, evidence of their ethos which looks to pass on traditional skills from one generation to the next at their studios in England and Wales.
Mike Batters was Recclesia’s Lead Metal Conservator when his son Matt undertook an apprenticeship under his watch. Sadly, after a period of illness, Mike passed away earlier this year, but it is great that Matt can continue to build upon his father’s legacy at Recclesia – developing the skills he learnt from his father, through the support of the CITB’s funding which is enabling him to complete two City and Guilds Training Courses in Welding.
"It’s so important to be able recognise people’s skills and experience, and to enable them to grow. Not only for the individual but also for the business", says Lee Bilson, Heritage & Conservation Consultant at Recclesia.
"The funding from CITB allows us to say 'yes'"
"As a small company, it’s difficult finding the resources to spend on upskilling your team and we don’t like to say 'No, we can’t afford it' if a staff member says they want to widen their skill set - so we’re really appreciative of the funding from CITB as it allows us to say 'yes' and maintain the skills for the future."
And for some of Recclesia’s management team the CITB’s Skills and Training Fund is allowing them to formalise years of experience in the sector. Construction Manager & Senior Mason Paul Warrand Snr is currently undertaking a Level Six NVQ. Although he’s worked in the sector for 20 plus years, the company feel it is important for industry stalwarts like Paul to have their skills and experience recognised and developed through formal training.
Securing Craftsmanship for the Future
Similarly, Stephen Evans, manager of the Stained Glass and Metalwork teams, has worked in glass conservation for 15 years. The funding Recclesia has been given from CITB is allowing them to put Stephen through the Chartered Institute of Building’s Construction Project Manager Course which will lead to CIOB accreditation.
Lee added "The funding from CITB is integral for our staff and our business to grow, and has helped us implement our training schedule in a fully inclusive manner. Our team is our business and needs to be the best it possibly can be. Everyone at Recclesia is supporting one another’s development and learning from each other, which is securing traditional conservation skills and craftsmanship for the future."
"The funding from CITB is integral for our staff and our business to grow"