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The teenagers keeping conventional crafts alive

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Image copyright Gavin Dickson Image caption Leighann Perry chose higher education wasn’t for her and became a leatherworker

In 1999, the Labour government set out a pledge that half of all young people should go on to higher education – an aim that has almost been achieved. But what about those young people who do not want to go down the academic itinerary? The BBC has met five who have become apprentices in some of Britain’s oldest trades.

Leighann Perry, leatherworker

Image copyright Gavin Dickson Image caption Leighann Perry developed an interest in the commerce after working at Walsall’s leather museum

“There are still fellowships moving skin products? “

This is the response 22 -year-old Leighann Perry encounters almost every time she says she works in the skin industry.

She developed an interest in the trade after working at Walsall’s leather museum.

“People are always scandalized to see me being so young working here in this industry. Everyone expects me to have an office job or something.”

Walsall is a town built on leather and its brand moves through it: Saddlers is the name for both the football squad and the shopping center.

Whitehouse Cox has been building leather goods, from purses to luggage, in the town since 1875.

It offered Leighann a three-year apprenticeship in leatherwork when she was 18.

Image copyright Gavin Dickson Image caption Whitehouse Cox has been manufacturing leather goods in Walsall since 1875

Production manager Adrian Harris said the company was “not inconvenienced about -Alevels and A grades”.

“People necessary three concepts[ to work here ], ” he said. “Common sense, good sight, and getting better with their hands.”

Leighann, who contends with her mental health, said her schoolteachers “thought apprenticeships were a waste of time”.

“I was pushed to do college because I couldn’t get my English points. I wanted to go to university, but at the time it wasn’t right, ” she said.

“I’m happy doing what I’m doing though. College, sixth model and universities – they’re not the only way.”

Eddy da Silva, globe-maker

Image copyright Tom Bunning Image caption Eddy Da Silva said Cristiano Ronaldo’s success returned him the confidence to aim high-pitched

“There’s nothing quite like containing the world in your hands, ” says Eddy da Silva, an apprentice globe-maker at Bellerby and Co. in London.

The 24 -year-old, who was born in Venezuela but now lives in England’s capital, left a corporate home to seek the aircraft but said “only a handful of people corroborated my decision”.

“Having been in an office for two years, preparing globes is incomparable.”

Eddy was just going school in the Portuguese island of Madeira, where the success of any particular neighbourhood footballer was as inspiring as the encouragement he got from his teachers.

“During this time Cristiano Ronaldo became a superstar, and having a fellow islander make it to that sort of height yielded everyone a confidence increase,[ that] ‘impossible’ was truly two letters too long, ” he said.

Image copyright Tom Bunning Image caption It takes at least six months to teach as a world make at Bellerby’s

Eddy said he had always been fascinated by globes but it was only after he followed Bellerby’s on Instagram, where an apprenticeship in map-making had been advertised, that he became his interest into a place.

“It has been quite surreal, ” he said. “I feel unbelievably privileged to be doing something like this.”

“You merely have to have the ambition to seek out unique capacities like this and be a bit of a risk-taker.”

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JoJo Wood, clog-maker

Image caption “People think of craft as something you do as a hobby, cutting and staying category stuff”

“Craft is seen as the stupid alternative. It’s what you do if you can’t do maths.”

JoJo Wood has been acquiring wooden spoonfuls and clogs since childhood, following in the footsteps of her parents in a swap as old-time as time.

“As a kid, whittling protrudes, played with knives and obliging happens is something I ever did, ” said the 23 -year-old, who grew up in Edale in Derbyshire.

“At 18, when I started get into[ woodwork ], people contemplated I was mad. But as they’ve got to university and their hope for the future has progressively drooped off, unexpectedly it doesn’t seem so bad.”

Media playback is unsupported on your machine

Media captionCould you become a log into a wooden spoonful?

Now based in Birmingham, JoJo is halfway through a woodworking apprenticeship with captain clog-maker Jeremy Atkinson and also moves her own spoon-making business.

“Jeremy is still wielding but he’s very aware that he’s got a very arthritic wrist, he’s got a bad back, and at some spot it’s going to get to the stage where he can’t employment any more, ” she said.

The crafter speculates ancient skills have a place in the modern world and thinks it is important young person are better connected to these industries.

“There’s a reaction against throwaway culture, ” she said.

“People want to buy something that’s made well and going to last-place , not only a bit of plastic told off the internet from China that’s going to end up in landfill in a year’s time.”

George Richards, wheelwright

Image copyright Greg Rowland Image caption “None of my friends or apprentices I know are doing anything as unique as wheelwrighting”

“I’d like to think I’ll be a wheelwright for the rest of “peoples lives”, ” says 20 -year-old George Richards.

Five years ago, he asked for work experience with Mike Rowland& Son Wheelwrights and Coachbuilders in Colyton, Devon.

He was not very academic at academy but didn’t have much help to consider alternatives other than college.

“They weren’t genuinely interested if you weren’t going on to do that, ” he said. “But for some people,[ apprenticeships are] the only thing that clothings them.”

Mike Rowland and his son Greg are two of about 20 employer wheelwrights in the country.

Image copyright Greg Rowland Image caption George believes there will always be lots of work for wheelwrights

Their company has a record of preparing wooden rotations for carriages and cannon dating back to 1331, and weighs the Queen as one of its customers.

Greg remembers George is possibly a very young qualified wheelwright in the world.

When asked what inspired him to select such a niche sell, the apprentice is frank.

“It was nothing to do with wheelwrighting[ as such ], ” he says. “It wasn’t something I’d felt I truly wanted to do.

“It was just working with my hands, working with timber – I knew I loved that.”

Zoe Collis, article maker

Image copyright Two Rivers Paper Co. Image caption “In a mode, this really is ecstatic. I’m allowed to take my meter here, and it’s so peaceful”

Zoe Collis describes working at Two Rivers Paper Company as “the best thing that’s ever happened to me”.

The 19 -year-old said college was “a lot of pressure” that made “anxiety and stopped me excelling”.

“My mothers were insistent I went to college, but I never thought it was something I wanted to do. I was more interested in hands-on stuff.”

Zoe connected the firm in Watchet, Somerset, which specialises in making watercolour article for masters. It claims to be the only situate in the UK where article is made from old-time rags employing liquid power.

Fourth-generation paper maker Jim Patterson mentors the teen in his trade.

“I’m getting on, I’m an old person now and I’d like the business to carry on the spacecraft, ” he said. “Having someone younger encourages us to be astute; it helps us theme things.”

Zoe feels it was the right move to spurn the more mainstream itineraries into employment.

“A lot of your best friend are sad because they can’t get a job or they’re doing something they don’t want to do. I emphatically feel better off than that.”

The apprentice expects to be constituting article “probably until I’m pushing up daisies”.

“My future is brighter now I have this apprenticeship. Before, I was just seeing dead ends.”

Training an apprentice for one day can reduce a craftsperson’s income by 20%, in agreement with the Heritage Crafts Association( HCA ).

Money for instructing is scarce, says its regent Greta Bertram, because “funding follows qualifications”, and not enough is done to encourage students who could are living in traditional industries.

“There’s virtually no craft career education in institutions, ” she said. “And if people aren’t exposed to clear, they don’t develop a penchant for it.”

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “We have 43 apprenticeships in the inventive and design category, which includes conventional ship apprenticeships.

“Schools must allow suppliers of technical education and apprenticeships access to talk to pupils about their offering. This will help young people be informed about the full range of options available to them and make an informed choice about their future.”

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Updated: March 12, 2018 — 8:54 am

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