A new cohort of trainees are beginning their cultural heritage careers across Wales as part of the Creative & Cultural Skills Cultural Ambition programme.
Funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Welsh Government’s Museums, Archives and Libraries division, Wales’ Creative & Cultural Skills (CCSkills) Cultural Ambition project has provided over thirty young people with skills and work experience across the Welsh cultural heritage sector since 2018. This summer, four new trainees will join the CCSkills Cultural Ambition programme as they take up their work placements at cultural heritage sites across Wales: Glamorgan Archives, St Fagans National Museum of History, National Library Wales, Ceredigion Museum, Plas Mawr/Conwy Castle, Conwy Culture Centre, Big Pit National Coal Museum and Tredegar House.
The Cultural Ambition project is open to those aged 18-24 who are non-graduates and not currently in education, employment, or training, and is designed to support young people, who may not otherwise be able, to undertake a vocational qualification based on sites through a paid bursary.
“We’re absolutely thrilled that our Cultural Ambition programme can finally welcome a new cohort of trainees after what has been such a difficult time for both the cultural heritage sector and young people over the last 16 months,” said Jane Ide, Chief Executive Officer at CCSkills. “Vocational entry-routes into the creative and cultural industries are at the heart of our work at CCSkills and long-term, paid interventions such as this are crucial for young people who may never otherwise access the wonderful plethora of jobs in the thriving cultural heritage sector in Wales.”
This year’s Cultural Ambition trainees are Bilal Abdi, 23, from Cardiff who has previously volunteered at the Pavilion Youth Club and enjoys working with young people to support, inspire and mentor them; Dafydd Syfydrin, 23 from Ceredigion, a fluent Welsh speaker who has developed an appreciation of different cultures through his voluntary and paid work in Africa and Austria and his experience of visiting local heritage sites during school trips; Ottie Foster-Alexander, 18, from Conwy who is passionate about history and culture, which is evident through his involvement at a medieval re-enactment group of Knights; Daniel Davies, 18, from Torfaen who is really interested in learning about history and gaining new skills and has fond memories of a school visit to Big Pit, where he’ll be spending one of his training placements.
During the ten-month programme, the trainees will have 2–3 placements at the host cultural heritage sites where they will be mentored by staff members and gain insight into what it takes to run the organisations across the various departments. They will also attend online Cultural Ambition masterclasses led by professionals from across the sites, giving them an understanding of the types of work and employers that exist beyond their local region.
Alongside their placements, the trainees will be working towards their NVQ Level 2 Cultural Heritage qualification via online sessions with Cardiff and Vale College. The programme also includes employability training which will provide the placements with support around writing CVs and job applications, as well as interview skills.
“We’re really proud to support the Creative & Cultural Skills Cultural Ambition programme and the vital role it plays in helping young people into work through training, work experience and the opportunity to gain qualifications,” said Andrew White, Director of the National Lottery Heritage Fund in Wales. “After such a challenging time which has impacted young people particularly hard we’d like to wish Bilal, Dafydd, Ottie and Daniel the very best as they take this opportunity to nurture and develop their skills, confidence and experience of being in the workplace.”
To find out more about CCSkills Cultural Ambition programme, visit their website here.