Boiler and Engineering Skills Training Trust

Boiler and Engineering Skills Training Trust

Boiler and Engineering Skills Training Trust

Principal Activity

The stark challenge for our sector is to pass on heritage engineering skills necessary for the safe repair and maintenance of steam engines, boilers and other heritage engineering for the benefit of future generations and an economic necessity for the mobile heritage economy. BESTT is a charity entirely dedicated to these aims. From its origins as a proposed new training base of Israel Newton and Sons, the 200-year-old Bradford boiler-making business, BESTT has enefitted from a partnership of support involving HRA, NTET (National Traction EngineTrust) for road steam and MHT (Maritime HeritageTrust) for marine, as well as many heritage railways and individuals. BESTT training is uniquely based on a heritage syllabus, created by Richard Gibbon and Tony Simons (of NRM fame) in which trainees develop a portfolio demonstrating their achievement and these are individually assessed. Thanks to National Lottery Heritage Fund support of £1m since 2013 (now completed) a total of 28 trainees have completed one-year paid placements at heritage railways and other partners with 17 entering paid roles in the sector and others on the national network. BESTT also offers short courses on boiler washout and inspection, riveting and white metalling and is now developing online options for some topics. They also offer one off and bespoke training including support on engineering competency assessment and review.


Operated by dedicated engineers who have a passion for passing on their experience to potential steam and mechanical engineers of all ages, BESST is a charity dedicated to training people and developing courses in connection with steam road vehicles, steam locomotives and small marine vessels.

Partnering Reason

Being able to design and offer tailor made courses to HRA members.

Partnering Benefits

Members will have access to courses and encourage them to train their staff.

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