28 May 2024

Fife College recently participated in an interactive showcase event at the Scottish Parliament to celebrate traditional building skills and highlight the importance of preserving historical buildings.

Organised by the Scottish Traditional Buildings Forum and hosted by Alex Rowley MSP and Gordon MacDonald MSP, the ‘Build Your Future’ event brought together school pupils, MSPs, and industry experts at the grounds of the Scottish Parliament.

S2 and S3 pupils from Wester Hailes High School, Inverkeithing High School, Cardinal Newman High School, and Eyemouth High School participated in various skills demonstrations.

MSPs joined the pupils too, trying their hands at stonemasonry, roof slating, 3D and thermal surveying, and Passivhaus insulation technology. The College was proud to contribute to the event by providing traditional painting demonstrations, including marbling and wood graining.

Alex Rowley MSP said:

“It was a privilege to host the traditional building skills event at the Scottish Parliament again this year, and I was very impressed once more by the level of skills on display from the young people in attendance.

“The event was a great success and that is due to the excellent organisation of the Scottish Traditional Buildings Forum and from the enthusiasm shown by the students on the day.

“Fife College has a vital role in helping to train our young people for the future world of work, and it is amazing to see traditional skills being passed down and learned for future generations. It was also excellent to see how transferable traditional skills are and how they can play a role in modern industries.

“I hope all the young people involved had an excellent time and wish each of them the best of success in their future careers.”

Frazer Walker, Academic Head for Construction Crafts and the Built Environment at Fife College, said:

“Participating in 'Build Your Future' was an incredible opportunity for us to connect with the next generation of craftsmen and women.

“It was wonderful to see young people and MSPs alike engaging with traditional skills which are crucial for preserving our built heritage. Our demonstrations were very well received and it was fantastic to witness the school pupils enthusiasm and talent."

“Events like these are essential in highlighting the relevance of traditional skills in today's world and inspiring young people to consider careers in this vital sector."

The event also featured the expertise of colleagues from Historic Environment Scotland, Craft Fellows from Hutton Stone, Compass Roofing, Edinburgh World Heritage Trust, and BE-ST.

Over the two-day event, attendees had the opportunity to engage in meaningful discussions and explore innovative ideas for the future of traditional building skills in Scotland and beyond. Each student left with their completed projects, showcasing their newfound skills and creativity.