A Cultural Heritage training centre since 2012, ECH delivered the Heritage Lottery Funded 'Heritage Leadership Programme':
a 12 month paid traineeship for ten young people from backgrounds underrepresented in the heritage sector. This was the second Skills For the Future
ran by Eastside, the first one having provided accreditation to sixteen trainees at the end of a nine month programme.
Each trainee undertook a month long work placement at a partner heritage organisation (Valence House Museum and Local Studies Library
and Archives, London Metropolitan Archives, and Redbridge Museum) with the aim of leaving ECH ‘job ready’
and with a clear understanding of their own heritage pathway.
All 10 apprentices successfully gained a QCF diploma level 3 in Cultural Heritage, having received training in:
• Developing and Delivering Community Events
• Developing and Delivering Educational Resources (for schools and adult learners)
• Oral History Interviewing (Theory and Practical)
• Archiving oral history interviews
• Copyright and Cataloguing
• Digitising photographs and memorabilia
• Historical Research
• Developing and Delivering a Heritage Walking Tour
• Recruiting and Managing Volunteers
• Managing Heritage Events
• Exhibition Writing and Design
• Delivering History Talks and Papers
• Website Production/Content
• Sound editing and Podcast Production
• Social Media
• Writing Proposals and Funding Applications for Heritage Projects
• Working with older people living with Dementia
• Health and Safety
Newly qualified trainees told us why they chose the programme and what they enjoyed the most about it:
“I was interested in the varied nature of the role and wide range of skills I would develop.”
“I wanted to work in heritage since I was a child and could not get a job despite doing lots of volunteering.
I knew I needed experience in project delivery and this training offered this opportunity.”
“I couldn't afford an MA and needed experience in the sector. I saw this traineeship advertised and was so excited.”
"I most enjoyed learning how to conduct a successful oral history interview. I relish the process of bringing someone’s story out. It’s very rewarding to guide the interview in a way to benefit a later exhibition, but also allowing space for the interviewee to share the stories they think most important, and do so in their own manner."
"Project Implementation. Working on the RAMFEL project from start to finish, it was eye opening to see the whole process of taking an idea, researching, conducting interviews, writing text, designing a booklet
and for all the content to come together in a publication/website.’
“The most important skills I acquired are the planning and implementation of reminiscence sessions. These can be applied in many different contexts, formal and informal, and with audiences with a wide range of needs.”
“My favourite project was the one I developed; “Stories from the Hungarian Revolution”. I delivered the project from publicity design and distribution, to the entertainment at the launch event. Amazing experience, and tracking down a Hungarian Folk Dance group to perform at the launch for free was the icing on the cake!”
In addition to personal projects, trainees supported the work of the wider ECH team: including creating materials for workshops, performing interviews, transcribing, editing, delivering workshops, reminiscence sessions, public events, design work, interpretation and a variety of other activities.
The following represent a selection of these projects: The Silvertown Explosion; Museum on Wheels; Healthy Heritage Walking Tours; East End to Essex: Jewish Migration Routes; Voices of Leytonstonia; 30 Years of Living with HIV; Stadium of Stories; A Walk in the Park: Memories of South Park; Snapshots Through Time; The War Hospital: Whipps Cross and the First World War; Folk of Forest Gate; Plashet Park; Leyton Orient.
Trainees have also had the opportunity to develop thematic community events and activities targeting people who do not traditionally engage with heritage provision during, for example, Disability History Month, LGBT History Month, Refugee Week and Black History Month.
Extensive practical work-based training and experience developing, delivering and producing outcomes on Eastside’s community heritage projects, provided graduates with the confidence and skills to work in the sector.
Our partners were overwhelmingly positive with 100% of placement providers stating they would employ the trainee:
"Their skills and experience contributed a great deal. They got involved in all aspects of collecting,
preserving and making accessible the collections we hold."
"Very competent and had a good understanding of the sector. Very enthusiastic and quick to learn."
On feeling 'job-ready', one trainee commented:
"I've become a more desirable candidate because I've been able to draw lots of my skills and previous experience together into a single job or project. This makes it easier to
communicate those skills to future employers."
Trainees have now secured the following roles:
- Community Curator, National Army Museum
- Project Development Officer, People First Liverpool
- Heritage Officer, Brent Museum
- Sound archivist, Café Oto
- Outreach and Reminiscence Office, Alzheimer’s Society
- Archivist, The Royal Opera House
- Archivist, Sky News
- Grants assistant, People's Postcode Lottery
To read the full evaluation report on the programme, please download the document below: