Year of the Master Craftsperson 2022

Sep 29, 2021 adrianlogin


DBR’s Executive Director, Adrian Attwood, appeared on this week’s Construction Index podcast.

In the episode, he discussed the urgent need for new blood in the conservation construction profession, and why it’s time for the industry to come together to inspire emerging, and existing, talent.

You can listen to the podcast by following the link

A core part of the discussion focused on an initiative which we’re developing, in conjunction with a number of other sector bodies, to tackle the skills shortage and celebrate the amazing work undertaken by current practitioners: ‘The Year of the Master Craftsperson’
We’re currently in the process of creating a dedicated hub on the DBR website for the campaign but, in the meantime, the below gives some background to how this idea came about.

Since our foundation just over thirty years ago, DBR has been at the forefront of the UK’s built heritage conservation.
Over the decades, we have watched our team of highly skilled craftspeople develop and preserve the traditional skills needed to keep our historic buildings and landmarks standing, and in good condition, providing a legacy for future generations.
However, the industry is now facing one of its greatest challenges to date: a severe skills shortage. Not only will this impact the buildings & monuments which we seek to preserve, but it also runs the risks of time-honoured crafts being lost forever.
We believe this is a completely avoidable situation, but also an opportunity to champion everything from stonemasonry and carpentry, to wrought ironwork and leadwork.
Earlier this year, our Executive Director, Adrian Attwood, wrote an article for Building Magazine in which he highlighted the importance of the construction industry, policy makers and educators coming together to discuss this issue further.
Particularly, he outlined how we would like to see more young people in the UK made aware of the myriad skilled professions within conservation construction and the rewarding career path it offers.
To ensure the industry’s preservation, he also highlighted our ambition for more current practitioners to become instructors, passing down their expertise to the next generation, as has been tradition for centuries.
It is this modest aspiration, as well as positive feedback from colleagues and peers, that has inspired us to campaign for 2022 to become the ‘Year of the Master Craftsperson’, championing those currently practicing and enticing others into it, regardless of background, circumstance, race, religion or gender.
Ultimately, we want to celebrate the talent, skill and expertise of those who work tirelessly to ensure our historic architecture survives, and show how we can quickly establish a home-grown workforce to guarantee the national legacy of traditional skills.
However, we cannot do this alone. The support, input and involvement of all sides of the industry, policy makers, educators and the public themselves, will be crucial to the success of this initiative.
It’s only through collaboration that we’ll make the ‘Year of the Master Craftsperson’ a reality.
Over the next six months, we’ll be reaching out across UK business, industry and government to promote this cause, supported with research, events and insight into how the sector operates, as well as showcase the amazing, unique work undertaken by craftspeople day-in-day-out.

If you’re interested finding out about the ‘Year of the Master Craftsperson’, please contact Adrian directly ( or DBR’s PR manager, Henry Rubinstein, The Think Tank ( for further details.

We’d love to hear from you and potentially have you involved in a campaign looking to make a real difference.

Have you got a project that you would like to discuss with a professional member of our team?

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