This month, Tate launches a new apprenticeship programme aimed at making careers in the arts more inclusive and accessible for all. At a time when the lives and university careers of young people in the UK have been affected exponentially by the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, these new work-based learning experiences will create much-needed routes-in to the visual arts sector.
Working in collaboration with wider cultural heritage organisations, Tate hopes to pioneer new apprenticeship standards which are sought after across the arts. This includes unique positions within curatorial, conservation and archives & record management departments, providing rare insight and invaluable experience of the inner workings of a major arts institution. Following successful pilot roles initiated in 2018, this new fully funded apprenticeship programme forms part of Tate’s commitment to increasing the diversity of its workforce, to better reflect the diversity of the audience it serves.
Over the next three years, Tate’s ambition is to recruit 50 paid apprenticeships. Initial roles are currently available in the Library & Archives, Marketing, and Development teams, while further apprentice posts to be released in the coming months will span Tate’s Curatorial, Conservation, Digital, and Director’s Office teams. Candidates must be aged 16 or above, with all apprenticeships lasting for a minimum of a year. Every apprentice is allocated a workplace mentor within the organisation and receives training from an independent Skills Coach, so they are well equipped for further progression. They will be fully supported to realise their next step, whether that is at Tate or elsewhere. While all apprenticeships on offer are for entry level roles, a longer-term aim of the programme is to expand into middle and senior level management roles.
This apprenticeship programme is being made possible with support from donors including members of the Tate Foundation Executive Board, with a desire to embed this as a permanent offer at Tate. Further Kickstart internships are also currently in place at Tate Liverpool, as part of a Government-funded scheme offering 6-month trainee placements for 16- to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit, who are at risk of long-term unemployment.