University of Cambridge Museums

Projects, events and news from the University of Cambridge Museums

Creative Apprentices

In November the University of Cambridge Museums recruited two Creative Apprentices. Through the scheme the successful candidates Lia Butler and Alex Tomkins, will gain both practical and administrative experience in a cultural setting through a year-long apprenticeship.

The project aims to dispel the notion that only those with a degree can secure a position in a museum by providing better access to the arts and training for young people. At the end of the year both candidates will have completed a level 2 qualification in Cultural Heritage.

As part of the scheme Lia will undertake a number of placements with the University of Cambridge Museums and at Wysing Arts Centre, whilst Alex will be based at the Museum of Zoology. NVQ level 2 training will be provided by The Junction’s Creative Learning Programme, enabling each apprentice to gain a wide range of experience in contrasting cultural settings.

Lia and Alex will be writing regular blog posts throughout their apprenticeship, so keep checking back to find out how they’re getting on.

l (2)“Bonjour! I am Lia, and I’m the new University of Cambridge Museums Creative Apprentice!

After deciding that University wasn’t for me, I was stuck in a bit of a rut. I had acquired a place at The University of Leeds Design School, and heard brilliant things about the city and the Uni. I quickly figured out that I wasn’t in what I felt was the right situation so I resigned my place at the University. I have always had a keen interest in the arts so I have consistently focused my attention on finding a job role that fulfilled my need to be in a creative environment. After a long, frustrating search, an unbelievable amount of applications and the loss of all hope, I finally had a positive response from the University of Cambridge Museums. The opportunity to work in a variety of places within the creative and cultural industry, doing a range of new and different tasks, in such a great city seemed almost too good to be true. What I wanted from an apprenticeship was the chance to really experience a working environment, and getting the feel for an industry in which I would love to progress and this seemed to offer it all. How could I pass up such an opportunity?! I always wanted to feel genuinely excited to go to work, and now here I am doing just that.

I am very much looking forward to experiencing and learning all I can, to help guide me along a path that will lead me to my ultimate goals. Alongside this, I look forward to working with everyone at the museums, even if just for a fleeting moment before I jet off to my next placement! I can certainly say I’ll be kept on my toes!”

Lia Butler

Alex Tompkins“Hello, my name is Alex Tomkins and I am the new apprentice at the Museum of Zoology.

I love history, art, nature and photography which is what drew me in to working with the collections.

I studied A- levels at the City of Ely community college doing a combination of Sociology and Geography, not to mention a Psychology AS grade as well. I did not choose to go to university as I felt that I would prefer to apply for on the job training and learning which apprenticeships offer, and it allows me to get into the world of work as soon as possible kick starting my adult working lifestyle.

In my spare time I enjoy Kayaking, Photography, looking around Museums and Historical sites, playing Airsoft and playing Squash. I love being out and about and keeping active which gives me a sense of accomplishment and focus in my spare time.

In the future I hope to work my way up the museum, art and natural world ladder where I will be taking on bigger responsibilities and work roles which I can help make a difference for the public and communities.”

Alex Tomkins

If you would like to find out more about creative apprenticeship opportunities at the University of Cambridge Museums contact Amanda Lightstone, Opening Doors Project Coordinator.

6 comments on “Creative Apprentices

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