QEST Craft Apprenticeships – opening 10 Jan to 14 Feb

The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) offers apprenticeship funding of up to £12,000 for the training and education of aspiring craftspeople. We provide these opportunities to sustain vital skills in traditional and contemporary crafts and contribute to excellence in the British craft industry.

We welcome applications from all talented craftspeople, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, or nationality; and particularly encourage those with protected characteristics that are under-represented in the craft sector to apply.

Who can apply?

Applications for a QEST Apprenticeship are a joint application from an organisation/master and an individual – the apprentice.

  • QEST’s focus is on developing the skills of the apprentice. However, the Apprenticeship must be to the benefit of both the apprentice and the organisation to whom they are apprenticed; that is, employing an apprentice will enable that business to flourish and grow
  • The apprentice must be aged 18 or older, (with no upper age limit); and living and working permanently in the UK;
  • They must already have:
    – a certain level of skill – a potential for excellence – i.e. already practicing and not a total novice
    – a long-term commitment to their craft where they might stay with the organisation that they are apprenticed to; and/or have an aspiration to set up on their own – eventually i.e. to contribute to the British craft sector
    – already been employed (or working with) the master/company for a minimum of six months, ideally one year.
  • QEST Apprenticeship funding is focused on supporting sole-traders and micro-businesses (according to the definition by Companies House: turning over less than £632,000, has £316,000 or less on its balance sheet, and has less than 10 employees).
  • There must be a demonstration of genuine financial need from the employer; that is without QEST funding they would not be able to take on an apprentice;  and also that they are not able to access funds from any other scheme, including the government scheme.

What we fund?

We offer funding of up to £12,000, for a maximum of a three-year apprenticeship. This should contribute towards the apprentice’s salary (at least minimum wage).

We want to support excellence in British craftsmanship, so we are looking for people planning to become an established craftsperson and stay in the UK to contribute to the British craft sector.

We encourage applications from a broad range of crafts and are excited by contemporary craftsmanship and innovative applications of traditional craft techniques. To see the types of craft we have funded, please look at the Directory page of our website.

QEST cannot fund:

  • Repeat applications from organisations, i.e. when QEST has previously supported an apprentice within that organisation
  • Anything that is not related to craft
  • Business start-up/support costs
  • Loss of income

To apply

Read more about QEST Apprenticeships at the website below.

QEST Craft Apprenticeship

Deadline for receipt of completed applications is: Monday, 14 February 2022

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New Belfast Community Arts Initiative trading as Community Arts Partnership is a registered charity (XR 36570) and a company limited by guarantee (Northern Ireland NI 37645).Registered with The Charity Commission as New Belfast Community Arts Initiative - NIC105169.