This is another great case study from the National Trust (first one here) and is the story of Samuel (pictured).
The National Trust run a course called Passport to Your Future, the aim of which is to encourage people from a diverse range of backgrounds to think about working in the Heritage sector. Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, I spoke to Samuel, who had attended such a course on Visitor Experience Training.
The course teaches delegates (who are paid a salary throughout their placement) the kinds of skills that the National Trust will require in future employees. The training includes “classroom-based” training, project work and a lot of work experience.
Samuel had a brain injury when he was 17, leaving his cognitive skills intact, but sometimes taking in information takes a little longer, and he sometimes struggles with expressing himself in writing and adjusting to his audience. He required a little help with the application form for the course, but other than that, no further accommodations were required.
He seemed very passionate about the National Trust and the work they do, and very much enjoyed the one-year course. He felt he gained many new skills, and that it was a “brilliant learning experience”. Alongside learning about heritage sites, helping customers, dealing with difficult customers, working on the retail side, costume interpretation and so on, Samuel had experience of being a Duty Manager, where he was responsible for all the people on the site. This means he now has supervisory and management experience as well, which will look good on his CV.
The course doesn’t automatically lead to a permanent paid job with the National Trust, but having done the course Samuel now feels much more confident that the skills he has learnt will make him attractive not only to the National Trust, but also to any other employer in the visitor attraction sector.
I’d like to thank Samuel for agreeing to talk to me about his experiences, and also wish him loads of luck in finding a role where he can use his newly-honed skills.
The project is currently recruiting for its next course – more details here.
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