Inspirational Ironbridge

The trainees had a lovely day in Ironbridge. We visited a couple of the museums to see how they run and what exhibits they have on display. But this was also a chance to meet professionals to discuss their careers and our own aspirations, with an emphasis on engagement.

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The trainees have fun in Ironbridge

Tamsin Bapty (nee Rowe) was in the first tranche of Worcester’s Skills for the Future Trainees and is now the Curatorial Officer for Collections Development working in the Museum’s Library & Archives where she keeps busy meeting celebrities. Tamsin met us for a coffee and a chat about life after a traineeship. Going out into the real world and getting a job is something we are all thinking about now our assignments are complete. Tamsin is clearly enjoying her new role and is doing well, so it was lovely to get a positive perspective on our prospects. She kindly gave us a tour of the blast furnace which is one of the reasons the Ironbridge Gorge is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

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Tea is essential to all museum-based discussions

Then importantly for our learning experience we all had a go at candle-making,while Hugh Simmons talked to us about education at Blists Hill. We discussed some of the ideas that have worked, how he comes up with ideas, and how these are adapted for summer holiday activities. This includes candle making, soap making and typesetting and printing workshops.

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Motivating staff

And last but not least we met Laura Simcox, who is a recent graduate from another cultural apprentice scheme. Laura is the Special Events and Corporate Hospitality Assistant at Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, and runs events at Blists Hill. Meanwhile she is also working in her own time on a masters course and kindly talked us through her role at Blists Hill as well as discussing her course at Leicester.

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Educational workshop on candle making

It was a great day and we all came away feeling inspired for our future careers and ready to start filling in lots of job applications.

Sarah Ganderton

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