Historic Royal Palaces celebrates National Apprenticeship week

Historic Royal Palaces celebrates National Apprenticeship week

National Apprenticeship week

14 March 2016

From Monday 14 March, Historic Royal Palaces will be joining the celebrations for National Apprenticeship Week.

The independent charity that cares for the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace, Banqueting House, Kew Palace and Hillsborough Castle offers a range of unique and diverse apprenticeships across the organisation. Apprentices could find themselves guarding the Crown Jewels or tending the royal gardens at Hampton Court Palace.

On Monday 14 March, CEO Michael Day will welcome all current apprentices and interns from across the organisation to a special breakfast event to thank them for their hard work and contribution to Historic Royal Palaces.

Alongside celebrating the work of existing apprentices in this year’s National Apprenticeship Week, Historic Royal Palaces will also be visiting local colleges to discuss the varied apprenticeship opportunities available for the current year. On Tuesday 15 March the charity’s HR team will attend Richmond College and Kingston College. On Friday 18 March one of the current IT apprentices Abu Taher will give a presentation at Tower Hamlets College in East London to share his experience as an IT apprentice at Historic Royal Palaces.

Historic Royal Palaces is committed to helping young people find jobs they feel passionate about, and currently offers a Visitor Services Apprenticeship programme created especially for the cultural heritage sector. Designed to help people aged 16 or over to develop their cultural heritage careers, the course teaches practical skills and abilities. Those enrolled on the programme gain a nationally-recognised qualification, and are paid a salary which is over the National Minimum Wage for the duration of the apprenticeship.

All apprentices are recruited on a 12-month fixed term contract and work towards vocational qualifications such as NVQ level 2 with the Visitor Services team, a BTEC National Diploma in Horticulture with the Gardens and Estates team and Level 3 ITQ Diploma qualification with the IT department. Many apprentices have found future employment within Historic Royal Palaces. Three stories of current and past apprentices are included below.

Michael Day, Chief Executive of Historic Royal Palaces, commented: “We look after some of the most important buildings in London’s history and it is vital for us to find talented and enthusiastic young people to continue the legacy. Our Apprenticeship Programme is already discovering rising stars in their fields from Visitor Services, Horticulture and IT. National Apprenticeship Week is a fantastic opportunity for us to thank our apprentices for their invaluable contribution and to highlight future opportunities to young people.”

Skills Minister Nick Boles said: “National Apprenticeship Week is a time to celebrate the life changing opportunities apprenticeships offer and the role they play in driving up productivity. 

“We are committed to 3 million more apprenticeships by 2020 and I encourage young people and employers from across the country to become part of this great success story.”

Historic Royal Palaces also offers a comprehensive internship programme. Paid internships at the palaces typically last from 6 to 24 months and consist of a structured programme of work experience and learning – as well as offering a small number of shorter and unpaid programmes of less than 3 months. There are currently paid intern programmes in Retail, Conservation, Curatorial, Communications and Development and HR. All apprenticeships and internships are advertised on the Historic Royal Palaces website: http://www.hrp.org.uk/recruitment

Case Studies

Abu Taher, 20 from Limehouse in Tower Hamlets, is currently working as an apprentice in the IT department and is based at the Tower of London.

The apprenticeship at Historic Royal Palaces is helping me progress in becoming a professional technician in the IT industry, Everyday a new challenge arises and it is always interesting, from simple issues to complex problems.

“Initially I had been interested in becoming a web developer, however the apprenticeship covers stuff which I am passionate about and has shaped my career plans.”

Dan Hawkins, 23 from Essex, completed a Visitor Service Apprenticeship, earning an NVQ level 2 in Cultural Heritage and Venue Operations. He now works full-time at the Tower of London as a Team Leader.

“I was based at the Tower of London for my apprenticeship, and the programme gave me valuable work experience and skills in customer service, storytelling, retail sales and planning and organising functions and events. Upon completing my apprenticeship I stayed on at the Tower of London, using the skills that I had acquired to help benefit the Warding Group. This involved training and mentoring my fellow colleagues and the new apprentices. In 2015 I was successful in my application for my current role of Jewel House Team Leader.”

“Where I am today all started with being an apprentice and getting my foot in the door, so I would recommend the apprenticeship to everyone looking for a great opportunity to develop and succeed.”

Jennifer Burtenshaw, 22 from Surrey completed an apprenticeship within the Gardens and Estates team from 2013-2015 and is now working as a Skilled Gardener at Hampton Court Palace.

“Working in any garden is a varied job; a typical day could consist of planting, seed sowing, weeding, harvesting, pruning or compost turning. I really enjoyed interacting with visitors - it's really satisfying to share techniques and advice with other keen growers who visit, or introduce people who are new to horticulture to the basics of food production.

“An apprenticeship in the tourism sector is a great way to learn different skills, and offers a wide range of opportunities for different interests. There's no better way to learn a job than to get stuck in and earn a formal qualification at the same time. Working alongside people who know and love the industry is priceless because you learn so much from them.”

For more information or images, please contact Pauline Stobbs at the Historic Royal Palaces Press Office: 020 3166 6340 or pauline.stobbs@hrp.org.uk

Notes to Editors

Historic Royal Palaces is the independent charity that looks after the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the Banqueting House, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace and Hillsborough Castle.  We help everyone explore the story of how monarchs and people have shaped society, in some of the greatest palaces ever built. We raise all our own funds and depend on the support of our visitors, members, donors, sponsors and volunteers. With the exception of Hillsborough Castle, these palaces are owned by The Queen on behalf of the nation, and we manage them for the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. Historic Royal Palaces cares for Hillsborough Castle under a separate contract with the Northern Ireland Office. Registered charity number 1068852. For more information visit www.hrp.org.uk

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