Skills Minister John Hayes visits Prince's Foundation offices (watch our film)

John Hayes, Minister for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning, visited our offices in Shoreditch today to meet the students on our 6th annual Summer School and learn more about the work they will be doing over the next few weeks.  

The Minister's visit also aimed to highlight the importance of teaching traditional crafts through the use of apprenticeships and dedicated programmes. 

Minister Hayes said: "I came to see the work being done in this wonderful building, bringing together all different aspects of design...I've looked at ceramics, a drawing class and really all sorts of aspects of what The Prince is achieving here, which is quite extraordinary.

"The Prince's Foundation is affirming time-honoured, and timeless ideas about the quality and rigour associated with design. We think of the arts as being about creativity, and of course they are, but that creativity channelled into disciplined learning and traditions which are drawing on a long history is about delivering excellence. 

"Excellence in these terms means the best possible architects and designers, understanding that all of life can be seen through an aesthetic prism; we are what we build, what we make, what we create, what we draw and what we see." 

The Minister saw this year's craftsmen at work, and tried his hand at some drawing as students followed one of their classes.

Earlier this year the Skills Minister attended the graduation of last year's Building Craft Apprentices, where he launched a new government award scheme aimed at celebrating the achievements and importance of apprenticeships. 

The Craft Skills Awards will be awarded every year, and aim to encourage young practitioners and celebrate the work that they do. 

Speaking to that audience, which included our President, HRH, The Prince of Wales, Minister Hayes said:

"Craft Skills are an essential part of our heritage and our future. The sector contributes £3 billion a year to the UK economy and helps to support the tourist industry, and sustain our cultural heritage and sense of identity." 

During his most recent visit to the Foundation, Minister Hates was also given the opportunity to tour our building and meet some of the Summer School tutors, here in London for the first week of the programme. 

The Summer School will run over a period of three weeks, both in London and Scotland, where students will be taught about the importance of traditional skills and architecture, and their role in the 21st century. 

To find out more about the Summer School use the links on the right-hand side of the page, or watch or short video on the visit.