Worcestershire’s Treasures has enabled heritage venues in the city to up-skill graduates in order to plug the skills gaps within the sector. Since 2011 a total of 17 graduates have completed the paid traineeship within the heritage sector in Worcester. Of these 17, 11 have secured employment within the sector with most of the remaining six going on to further study or other paid employment.

On 21 October in a special celebration event at The Guildhall, Worcester the trainees received their completion certificates and shared their experiences from the past 15months. With additional support and funding from Worcestershire County Council and the University of Worcester, and managed by Museums Worcestershire, all trainees have completed their traineeships at library, archive and museums settings in and around the historic city of Worcester.

Host locations for the third tranche of trainees included: Worcester Cathedral Library and Archive; the Elgar Birthplace Museum; George Marshall Medical Museum; The Infirmary Museum; University of Worcester Research Collections; Museum of Royal Worcester; Worcestershire Archives and Archaeology Service; and Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum.

“Worcestershire’s Treasures has enabled us to develop key skills within the heritage sector,” said Alex Kinnersley, Project Co-ordinator said: Not only have we trained the next generation of heritage worker but created valuable partnerships across the sector enabling organisations within Worcestershire to benefit from a range of perspectives and experiences as well as providing much needed specialist support on the ground.”

Through the programme the trainees have undertaken a programme of on the job learning and structured training including studying for a Post Graduate qualification in Leadership and Management (Heritage) at the University of Worcester Business School. Heritage organisations who might not be able to offer such trainee positions have been able to do so and address the difficulties of providing work-based learning opportunities within what are often small organisations.

“With four exhibitions, a major collections decant, the setting up of a pop-up museum and the studying for a postgraduate certificate, this year has certainly been a busy one,” said Tom Hopkins, Trainee at Worcester Cathedral Library and Archive. “Add to that the general day-to-day running of the library, the delivery of tours, answering enquiries and running a social media presence, and it soon becomes clear just how much I have achieved as part of this traineeship.” Hopkins will start a new job as a Project Research Assistant at Guildford Museum in early November.

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Worcestershire’s Treasures: Back L – R Lily Dean Sue Beardsmore (HLF) Rachel Murphy  Front L – R Emalee Beddoes Danielle Joyce Sarah Ganderton and Tom Hopkins