The Conserving Local Communities Heritage (CLOCH) project is part of the Heritage Lottery Fund‘s ‘Skills for the Future’ programme and has provided work-based training opportunities for 16 bursary holders over three years. CLOCH is a partnership project, lead by Glamorgan Archives, bringing together libraries, archives and museums across South Wales to offer placements and work experience in the heritage sector.
Four cohorts of trainees have been recruited throughout the duration of the project. Each cohort starts with a three month induction at Glamorgan Archives, followed by a range of placements in partner libraries, archives or museums. Throughout the year, trainees will work towards relevant qualifications and build up their knowledge and skills in four main areas:
• Research and Local History
• Conservation and Collection Management
• Community Engagement
The CLOCH project is targeting men aged under 30. This Positive Action Training enables young men to gain experience in occupational sectors where they are under-represented.
The CLOCH trainees have contributed to every area of work at Glamorgan Archives. They’ve assisted with enquiries and the production of documents in the searchroom, helped with visiting school groups, cleaned and repackaged records, assisted with the cataloguing of new material, and their newly acquired digitisation skills have been particularly helpful in making our photographic holdings available online via our catalogue, Canfod.
Meet the trainees
I left sixth form in 2011, unsure of what career path I wanted to take. Like most people my age I couldn’t afford to be picky as with even basic jobs there was a lot of competition and as a recent school leaver I didn’t have much experience to help me.
I’ve always been interested in my heritage and history in general since I was very young, so when I found out about the CLOCH project it seemed perfect for me as I would be able to get a year’s worth of experience in the sector and a qualification with it. So far it has exceeded my expectations and given me a valuable insight into the heritage sector through work in Glamorgan Archives, the University of South Wales and the Cardiff Story Museum. I have met a variety of new people and had the opportunity to attend all different types of training and gain skills in areas I wasn’t expecting such as digitisation.
With only a few months left I am confident this experience will stand me in good stead as I try to establish a career in this sector. The CLOCH project has given me a chance that I otherwise wouldn’t have had and I’m grateful to everyone involved in organising and funding it!
James Hamill, Trainee at Gwent Archives
After finishing my GCSEs in 2003, I worked full time whilst completing my A levels in English Language, English Literature and History. After this, I continued to work full time in a variety of jobs, ranging from a karting centre to working for two high street banks, via a car insurance firm and the family business. At this point, I was getting frustrated at the lack of a defined career path, so finding out about the CLOCH programme came at the perfect time.
I’ve always enjoyed visiting museums and libraries, with the heritage sector in general being really fascinating to me. The chance to combine working in a sector I’ve always enjoyed on a personal level, with learning new skills and still operating in a customer service role as I have always previously done was an opportunity I couldn’t miss.
I’ve since learnt a wide variety of new skills, such as digitisation, conservation and records management. I’ve been able to put these into practice during my time here at Gwent Archives, with particular focus being put on digitisation, records management and working in the research room, helping members of the public with enquiries and research into their own past. I’ve really enjoyed the past few months here, and I hope that this experience will lead to a long and successful career in a truly fascinating sector.
You can find out more about the CLOCH project at:
And you can follow the trainees on Twitter (@cloch_skills) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/CLOCHTraineeships).