Castle Raesfeld Academy Celebrates Its 70th Anniversary at denkmal
The Craft Academy at Castle Raesfeld located in the moated castle in Raesfeld in the district of Borken is a joint training facility of North Rhine-Westphalia's skilled crafts associations. Its establishment in 1952 was intended to provide trainees and company owners in the craft trades with more extensive business management skills and to prepare them for managerial tasks. Their current educational priorities are in the areas of business management and authorised expert services as well as monument preservation. For its 70th anniversary, the Castle Raesfeld Academy will also once again be in attendance at denkmal 2022.
The Castle Raesfeld Academy supports independent and master craftspeople, skilled technical and business workers, aspiring specialists and employees of skilled trade organisations with professional qualifications and personal development. It is supported by the seven Chambers of Crafts and Skilled Trades, skilled trade associations and guilds in North Rhein-Westphalia as well as the private and public legal institutions and bodies associated with the crafts. It is located in the main castle and outer bailey of Raesfeld Castle, which has a history dating back to the 12th century. After the Second World War, North Rhine-Westphalia's Chambers of Crafts and Skilled Trades took over ownership of the castle and restored it.
Now, in 2022, the municipality of Raesfeld has acquired the main castle from the sponsoring association, which has now operated the Craft Academy for over 70 years. "The sale of the castle allows us to remain here" – this was the message from the West German Chambers of Crafts and Skilled Trades’ Council at a press conference on the occasion of the sale of the castle in Raesfeld. This means that the trades council no longer owns the main castle and it has been the property of the municipality of Raesfeld since the beginning of January. Raesfeld Castle will continue to house the Academy. The Academy is the municipality's anchor tenant, and it has secured the use of the outer bailey for 65 more years via leasehold from a private owner. The sale enables the Academy to make structural improvements to the outer bailey and move there in the medium term. From the new location, it will continue to operate as a flagship educational institution for the skilled trades and build on its strength as a provider of advanced training for restorers and conservators.
Seminars for experts have been held here since the 1980s. A procedure for public certification involving a technical examination with skilled trade associations or guilds and thorough initial training with a final examination is designed to guarantee the qualifications and suitability of certified individuals. In Raesfeld, specialists are prepared for public certification with approved basic training including a final examination and can continue their education both before and after their official appointment as a tradesperson. In the area of business management, the castle offers business courses and technical seminars as well as management, organisational and communication seminars in the form of one- to three-day courses during the week and at weekends.
The Academy has been providing instruction in monument preservation since 1982, such as single- or multi-day specialist educational events as well as training courses for those wishing to become a qualified restoration craftsperson. Master craftspeople in the painting, masonry, metalworking, interior design, stone masonry, plasterwork, woodworking and carpentry trades can build upon their Master Craftsman's Certificate with further training. The training programme for "Certified Restorer/Master Professional Craftsman for Restoration" will begin in accordance with the revised examination regulations in the spring of 2023.
The Academy will be offering additional seminars on building and energy technology with an emphasis on existing construction and architectural monuments. An additional focus on the monument preservation industry is planned for the future. The establishment of a volunteer academy is also planned, in which training courses for volunteer craftspeople will be developed in areas such as rhetoric, law and social media. Moreover, an excellence initiative will be started to combat the lack of skilled tradespeople and to generate visibility for the idea that excellent craftsmanship can, at the same time, mean top-level professional and societal success.
The Academy will be in attendance at denkmal 2022 for its 70th anniversary and will be presenting its broad spectrum of educational opportunities to visitors.