Rob Murray and David Mordue

Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums

Jackie Bland, 16.07.2015
Creative apprentices
Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums (Twam) has been employing creative apprentices since 2008, with great success. We offer two types of apprenticeships: one for front-of-house customer service assistants and the other in community arts administration.  

Each role must have a job description before we advertise. We use the same recruitment and selection process as our lead local authority, Newcastle City Council.  

We never recruit to fill skills gaps or staff shortages. The focus is always on the development of the apprentice, ensuring that when they have completed their 12-month fixed-term contract, they have developed skills, knowledge and experience in the workplace, providing a firm grounding in employability skills.  

Twam’s creative apprentices are paid at national minimum wage according to their age.
We place the apprentice in a team, with a dedicated line manager, and work in partnership with the training officer. A robust learning and development programme includes a comprehensive induction plan, enabling them to develop month-on-month.  

All the trainees attend Twam’s core museum skills training programme; a free course covering a wide range of areas for everyone working in museums. Their training also includes all aspects of health and safety appropriate to their job role.  

Twam works in partnership with the Sage Gateshead, which is the regional training provider for creative apprenticeships. The apprentices complete level 2 in cultural and venue operations pathway and community arts administration pathway.

The apprentices attend college one day a month for classroom-based training and are assessed in the workplace by an assessor.

We have had great success with two creative apprentices who, after their 12 months, reached a level of knowledge that allowed them to apply for curatorial assistant roles. They were both successful.

Jackie Bland is the training services officer at Twam. Email her for more information on the creative apprentice programme or the core museum skills training programme.