Learning Museum Training Programme

Learning Museum Training Programme

My name is Tom Rogers and I am doing a unique training programme at The Atkinson, here’s how my first month has gone!

The programme is part of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Skills for the Future scheme, hosted by the British Museum. HLF’s Skills for the Future programme provides funding to create a network of heritage training initiatives across the UK, designed to develop skills and diversify the workforce.

The partnership will be made up ten partner museums per year over 2 years, each hosting 1 trainee. I will work on different projects at The Atkinson, but connecting them all are object-based learning and a commitment to working with new audiences.

The partnership is made bigger still by connecting to further museums for training sessions and site visits wherever possible. Making the most of contacts I meet and the network of colleagues I build is an important part of the programme. There are 10 different locations across the UK, they are:

Down County Museum, Northern Ireland
Henley River and Rowing Museum Heritage & Culture
Warwickshire Museum
Nan Eilean, Benbecula, Scotland
Plymouth Museum and Art Gallery
The Atkinson, Southport
Time and Tide Museum, Great Yarmouth
Wrexham Museum, Wales
Brighton Museum

Each museum will have different collections of objects, different ways of engaging audiences, and various audiences too. It will be important for me and the other trainees to share and compare our experiences of working with these different collections and audiences. For this reason we’ll meet up as a group of trainees on a monthly basis for special training days hosted at each of the partner museums.

The special training days will cover some essential and innovative skills required for working in museums. As a trainee on the Learning Museum programme I’ll be in a unique position to share this new learning with colleagues at my host museum and in doing so I will be contributing to their on-going work.

Finally, the programme is structured around a Level 3 Diploma in Cultural Heritage, which requires me to provide evidence of my experience of training rather than complete examinations. On-the-job training, special training days at partner museums, visits to other museums and day-to-day work will all contribute to my evidence building.
My first month

The first month in The Atkinson has gone well, I feel as though I have settled in nicely. I have shadowed a lot of different departments – from working in the library to being hands on with the ops team; it has been varied to say the least!

To start off the placement, there was the small matter of a trip to the British Museum in London! The reason I visited was to get a broad overview of the placement and meet all of the fellow trainees. The British Museum certainly lives up to its reputation – it is absolutely massive and has a wide array of items in its collection.

We were all given a tour, seeing the likes of the Egyptology collection, Aboriginal art & much more, it was fascinating. We were then given a talk about historical clocks and timekeeping. As we all take clocks for granted in the modern world, to see how they originated and see some of the first ever clocks first hand was very interesting.

After the day at the British Museum we all visited Pizza Express, to get to know each other a little bit more. One of many perks! The next day we were told more about the qualification we are going to receive, again in the British Museum. After this, it was time to go home; my first venture to a different museum is complete!

I am looking forward to visiting the 9 other museums around the UK, alongside getting stuck in to the NVQ Level 3 qualification in cultural heritage.
The first month has already taught me a lot already, and I hope to continue learning at this rapid pace.
Good first month, I hope the next one can be even better!

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Posted on 24 October 2016 under Museum

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