Apprenticeships provide a wealth of opportunities to join the cultural sector.
Being an apprentice means you can develop your skills and your career while being paid. This practical approach to learning is an alternative to more academic routes, though apprenticeships are still formally assessed against agreed standards.
In England, Wales and Northern Ireland there are over 700 different apprenticeship standards. Within culture and heritage specifically there are many different apprenticeships, including:
- Museums and Galleries Technician
- Heritage Engineering Technician
- Archaeological Technician
- Cultural Learning and Participation Officer
- Cultural Heritage Conservator
- Countryside Ranger
- Archivist and Records Manager
In addition, there are also apprenticeships in enabling roles which support the primary purpose of the organisation, for example:
There are different levels of apprenticeship available to help you identify the level of complexity and often the timescale for completion.
Scotland has foundation, modern and graduate level apprenticeships, while the rest of the UK has a different system with numeric levels between two and seven:
- Intermediate apprenticeships (Level 2)
- Advanced apprenticeships (Level 3)
- Higher apprenticeships (Level 4 and above)
- Degree apprenticeships (Levels 6-7)
Starting an apprenticeship
What should you do if you think an apprenticeship is the right next step for you?
- Reflect on the area of museum work you are interested in – do you want to work with collections? Do you want to work with communities? Do you want to work with visitors?
- Visit your nation’s apprenticeships website – a list of relevant links can be found at the bottom of this page.
- Explore the different apprenticeships that are available and think about which might be the best one for you.
- Identify organisations which offer apprenticeship posts or programmes that interest you and look to apply.
Apprenticeships offer real-life experience with supported development, enabling you to develop the skills and expertise to apply for and be appointed to a permanent role.