Sophie’s Internship Diary: Final Entry
Published 5th August 2021
As a very grey and cool Friday has approached me, I approach the end of my time being part of the FHBT’s digital office. Even with my internship taking place in a rather unconventional context, my time with the Fife Historic Buildings Trust has been incredibly rewarding. I’ve been offered a glimpse into the construction sector, which I’d never expected to be involved with before, and how that contributes to the heritage sector as a whole.
I was drawn to this project for my love and passion of heritage, but also the arts and crafts around us. The artistic value of these buildings is exquisite, and those in trades needed to build and maintain them, are nothing short of skilled craftsmen. Educating young people on why these trades matter is so important to the survival of our physical heritage, but it’s also important for making sure that every young person has a successful and happy future ahead of them. Accessibility into these kinds of opportunities is vital, but vocational roles and qualifications are often misconstrued, and sold short on their worth. I hope we can let go of this attitude through raising awareness of what really goes into these crafts, to help encourage people into the sector and allow every young person to do what they want without any judgement or restriction. The skills shortage in traditional building is just as much an issue burdening the education sector, as it is in heritage.
While putting together a proposal for a future audit considering the traditional skills shortages in Fife, I really appreciated the opportunity of delving into the richly built history of Fife and its value to not just our local our community, but Scotland’s heritage on a national scale. My view of the built environment around me has invaluably changed, as I now look at buildings with an increased awareness, noticing the special motifs and details around me and the uses for them, and I look forward to taking this knowledge back home with me and to see even my most familiar surroundings with new eyes.