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The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust

The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) supports excellence in British craftsmanship through scholarship and apprenticeship funding, striving to make a difference to the lives and careers of talented and aspiring makers working across the UK.

UKFT’s Deputy Chairman, Ian Maclean, Managing Director at John Smedley, is also a QEST trustee and treasurer.

Over the last 30 years QEST has awarded over £4.5million to more than 550 individuals working in 130 different disciplines. From luthiery to printmaking and thatching to enamelling, QEST embraces craft in all its forms and is proud to contribute towards its evolving tradition.

QEST Scholarships

QEST offers scholarships of up to £18,000 for the training and education of talented craftspeople. QEST aims to sustain vital skills in traditional and contemporary crafts and contribute to excellence in the British craft industry.

Who can apply?

QEST scholarships fund the education and training of any individual UK resident, aged 18 or older, who would like to improve their craft skills. QEST encourages applications from a broad range of crafts and is excited by contemporary craftsmanship and innovative applications of traditional craft techniques.

What does the scholarship fund?

QEST funds traditional college courses, vocational training or one to one training with a master craftsperson. In addition to training costs, QEST scholarships can cover costs directly related to your training such as transport, equipment, materials and accommodation as long as it is proportionate to the grant request.

QEST cannot fund:

  • Anything that is not related to craft;
  • Retrospectively, meaning QEST will be unable to cover anything you have already paid for;
  • Business start-up costs.

Find out more about QEST scholarships

QEST Apprenticeships

QEST offers apprenticeship funding of up to £6,000 per year (£18,000 maximum) for the training and education of aspiring craftspeople.

Who can apply?

The QEST apprenticeship programme funds individuals:

  • Aged 18 or older, (with no upper age limit);
  • Living and working permanently in the UK;
  • Learning craft skills within companies or directly from a master craftsperson. This working relationship should already be established before you submit your application.

What does the scholarship fund?

QEST offers funding of up to £6,000 per year, for a maximum of a three year apprenticeship. This should contribute towards the apprentice’s salary (at least minimum wage).

QEST aims to support excellence in British craftsmanship, so is looking for people planning to become an established craftsperson and stay in the UK to contribute to the British craft sector.

QEST encourages applications from a broad range of crafts and is excited by contemporary craftsmanship and innovative applications of traditional craft techniques. To see the types of craft QEST has funded, please look at the Directory page of the QEST website.

QEST cannot fund:

  • Anything that is not related to craft;
  • Retrospectively, meaning QEST will be unable to cover anything you have already paid for;
  • Business start-up costs;
  • Loss of income

Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust applications

The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust will be accepting new applications for funding between 14 July and 24 August 2020.

Talented and aspiring candidates can apply for up to £18,000 to further their education through traditional college courses, vocational training, apprenticeships or one-to-one training with master craftsmen.Deadline for applications is 5pm, Monday 24 August.

Find out more about QEST apprenticeships

Building Arts Programme

The Building Arts Programme is a collaboration between The Prince’s Foundations and The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust, aimed at students and practitioners whose practice or trade informs our built environment, including those with a focus on architecture, the building crafts and the decorative or applied arts.

Applications for the Building Arts Programme 2020 are now closed.  Please visit The Prince’s Foundation for more details on the course.