A NEW apprenticeship programme operating in South Lakeland is helping youngsters interested in arts and heritage to boost their job potential.

Funded by the Arts Council England and run by a new Cumbria Museum Consortium (CMC), the one year course offers young people the opportunity to gain valuable work experience within the creative and cultural heritage sector.

Ten new apprenticeship roles have been created at Lakeland Arts, Bowness and Kendal, the Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere, and also Tullie House, Carlisle.

Most of the learning for the ten apprentices, aged between 18 and 23, is done on the job, but some apprentices attend extra sessions with their learning provider - either Gen II or Kendal College.

Further learning is delivered by the CMC’s Apprenticeship Manager, Helen Ivory, who has arranged workshops to allow apprentices to meet each other, share experiences and learn about other aspects of their roles.

“This is a dynamic apprenticeship programme and one which is delivering once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to young people wishing to pursue a career in the arts and heritage sector,” said Helen. “It is tough to get a foothold in this area without a degree, so this programme really is opening doors for talented young people who wish to work to gain experience.

“The richer we can make apprenticeships in our sector, the more the sector will benefit in the longer term, by having committed, knowledgeable and ambitious young people helping to steer its future.”

All students cover a wide range of tasks, duties and activities to equip them with experience that will stand them in good stead once the placement is complete.

The apprentices are regularly blogging about their exciting times and posting blogs at cmcapprenticeship.blogspot.co.uk Recruitment is now taking place for apprentices for 2014. Contact Helen at helen.ivory@tulliehouse.org for more.