Would you like to join The Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers? You could through The Queen’s Bindery Apprenticeship which begins this Autumn.
The increasingly rare skills and expertise of the hand bookbinding trade will be preserved in the UK through a unique new training initiative, The Queen’s Bindery Apprenticeship, which launched on 11 July.
What a great apprenticeship if you love books
The scheme, due to begin in Autumn 2016, will be the only bindery apprenticeship available in the UK and the first since the 1970s. Over a seven-year period pilot, up to six apprentices will gain unparalleled experience working in the Royal Bindery at Windsor and external workshops, acquiring a broad range of bookbinding skills, including fine leather binding, edge-gilding and gold finishing, which may otherwise be lost for ever. City & Guilds qualifications will be received upon completion of the five-year training programme.
About the Royal Bindery
The Royal Bindery in Windsor Castle was founded in 1770 by George III, a noted bibliophile, and has been in operation ever since, with many of the tools it houses having been used for centuries. Today, it is at the forefront of preserving the high standards of craftmanship that are the benchmark of the professional hand bookbinding trade.
The seven-year pilot will cost around £500,000 and be supported by eight charity Founding Partners: Royal Collection Trust, Antiquarian Booksellers Association, City & Guilds of London Institute, The Clothworkers’ Company, The Leathersellers’ Company, The Printing Charity, Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust and The Stationers’ Company. In addition, there are three Skills & Industry Partners who will benefit from employing the apprentices and contribute to costs: The Royal Bindery, Blissett Bookbinders and Shepherds, Sangorski & Sutcliffe.
Learn a craft in a professional workshop with the Queen’s Bindery Apprenticeship
Oliver Urquhart Irvine, The Librarian & Assistant Keeper of The Queen’s Archives, said: “There is no substitute for learning a craft in a professional workshop. The Queen’s Bindery Apprenticeship will ensure that the finest standards of craftsmanship of this valuable trade are passed on to future generations.”
The Royal Collection Trust held a pre-launch reception at Windsor Castle for The Queen’s Bindery Apprenticeship Scheme on 21st June. During the reception The Queen joined the gathering to meet and thank some of the scheme’s supporters and partners.
Who should apply for the Queen’s Bindery Apprenticeship?
Applicants from a range of backgrounds are encouraged to apply as no previous experience or qualifications are necessary. All relevant skills will be taught as part of the scheme, but applicants should be creative and have an interest in the field.