Haworth-based scheme is on track to tackle future skills shortage.By Alistair Shand(Keighley News)

  • Posted On: 24 July 2019

HAWORTH Station on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway was the ‘birthplace’ of a scheme that is now striving to address a future skills shortage.

Hands-on trades probably haven’t been as enthusiastically pursued in recent years as computers and technology.

Identifying the potential problem for traditional industries such as engineering, increasing emphasis has been placed on apprenticeships.

And it was from Haworth that the idea for the Boiler & Engineering Skills Training Trust (Bestt) emanated.

The voluntary, charitable organisation has created a syllabus-based scheme to teach heritage steam engineering boiler and mechanical repair.

Training is undertaken in workshops throughout the UK, including at Haworth.

Since 2014, 16 trainees have successfully completed the year-long course, financed by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Twelve have found employment within the sector.

A further 16 are currently in similar training on the scheme.

Among them are Chay McLean and Tilman Shaw.

For Chay, securing a place on the course – through the Prince’s Trust – introduced him to a type of work he never knew existed.

The 20-year-old said he had been seeking an apprenticeship for over a year before going to the Prince’s Trust.

The charity works closely with Bestt to help recruit applicants.

Continue Reading