The culmination of a 3 year project Culture Track led by Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums (TWAM) with funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation concluded with students successfully completing an NCFE Level 1 qualification in Volunteering, delivered by This is Creative Enterprise (TICE).
The aim of the Culture Track project, which began in 2013 has been to provide young unemployed adults aged 16 – 25 with volunteer placements in cultural organisations that meet their individual needs and focus on developing employability skills and self – confidence.
Students who completed the volunteer course had a range of different learning needs but in progressing through the course completed successful placements at either the Discovery Museum or Great North Museum giving them tangible work experience through an enhanced understanding of volunteering within the museum sector to include on their CV’s and aid future employment potential. The completion of this course also had a very significant positive personal impact on many of the students who otherwise wouldn’t ordinarily have such opportunities, recognising the importance of self motivating themselves to commit to a course and a placement, work as apart of a team within a ‘real’ job scenario and represent a venue as part of a bigger brand & business.
Following the end of the funded project in July, TWAM now aim to embed these new ways of working into their regular programmes, providing opportunities for young people facing barriers to employment within the galleries where suitable, and acting as a safe place where they can learn employability skills, gain confidence and co-incide with gaining a qualification whilst doing so. Therefore providing the museum sector with young volunteers who have a good understanding of what it means to volunteer and work in cultural venues, which they can go on to use pro-actively in their own career journey.