“Rare and vital”: positive terminology, contemporary relevance and robust teaching options for heritage maker trades
Keywords:Trades, Makers, Heritage, Skill, Training, Conservation
Manual trades from the past are often referred to negatively as “lost”, “dying” or “forgotten”, driving perceptions that such skills are unimportant in the present and future. Such trades, however, remain vital in some industries, promote wellbeing and social empowerment and are important for meeting United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This paper puts forward constructive and positive alternative terminology for these skills, including “rare”, “vital”, “heritage” and “maker trades”. The second section engages with issues in teaching these skills effectively. This includes educational and economic contexts, student and teacher expectations and issues such as accreditation and certification. The third section of this paper discusses practical solutions for teaching these skills in contemporary educational settings. Options include embracing work integrated learning (WIL) paths within broader tertiary courses, targeting mid-career learners, and splitting skill acquisition into base maker skills and specific industry skills for more distributed teaching opportunities.
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