Two people at work at Glamorgan Archives

Conserving Local Communities Heritage (CLOCH) Project

Summary of the project

The Conserving Local Communities Heritage (CLOCH) Project is funded through the Heritage Lottery Fund's 'Skills for the Future' programme, and provides 16 year-long traineeships  in the heritage sector. Each trainee receives a tax-free bursary of £12,500. Four cohorts of trainees will be recruited during the project which is running from July 2011 through to December 2014.

Working in Partnership

CLOCH is a partnership project, led by Glamorgan Archives, bringing together libraries, archives and museums across South Wales. Current partners are:

  • Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council (Tredegar Library and Gwent Archives)
  • Monmouthshire County Council (Chepstow Library, Chepstow Museum and Gwent Archives)
  • Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council (West Glamorgan Archives)
  • Newport City Council (Gwent Archives)
  • City and County of Swansea (Swansea Central Library, Swansea Museum and West Glamorgan Archives)
  • Torfaen County Borough Council (Cwmbran Library and Gwent Archives)
  • University of Wales, Newport
  • National Library of Wales
  • CyMAL: Museums Archives and Libraries Wales
  • Glamorgan Archives Joint Committee and contributing authorities
  • Coleg Llandrillo
  • WEA (South Wales)

Further partners will come on board as additional traineeships are planned.

Developing workforce skills to meet the needs of the heritage sector

The project is targeting local unemployed men under 30 as evidence from placement partners showed that this group continued to be under-represented in the heritage sector. This Positive Action training is allowed  under Section 158 (c) of the Equality Act 2010, enabling individuals to gain experience in occupational sectors where participation is disproportionately low.

The project offers 12-month traineeships focusing on developing skills in: 

  • digitisation
  • research and local history
  • collections and conservation management
  • community engagement

The trainees also work towards the Level 2 Certificate in Libraries, Archives and Information Services. At the end of their traineeship, trainees will be supported to match their new skills with entry-level posts in the sector and/or explore further training and qualifications.

The first cohort of trainees started in January 2012 and are due to complete in January 2013. A second cohort of trainees started in September 2012. Each cohort of trainees starts with a three-month induction at Glamorgan Archives, followed by a range of placements. Placements include library services in Swansea, Blaenau Gwent (Tredegar), Torfaen (Cwmbran), Monmouthshire (Chepstow) and Caerphilly (Bargoed), as well as West Glamorgan Archives (Swansea), Swansea Museum, Chepstow Museum and the Winding House (New Tredegar).

Challenges and opportunities faced by the project

  • Developing a traineeship model that satisfied HMRC in relation to the non-payment of tax
  • Exploring opportunities for the use of Positive Action Training to target young men 
  • Utilising the new Level 2 qualifications in Libraries, Archives and Information Services to provide a grounding in the sector, in addition to the core skills of digitisation research and local history, conservation and collection management and community engagement
  • Developing traineeships in libraries, archives and museums which provide opportunities for services to work together
  • Creating a recruitment strategy and interview process which would allow the project to reach and support our target group (local, young unemployed men with an emphasis on non-graduates)
  • Working across a large number of sites, partners and organisations brings challenges and opportunities

Outcomes

Although CLOCH is a time-limited project linked to HLF funding, it is hoped that the working practices and skills development provided to project partners will enable them to integrate these within ongoing service development. As the project is ongoing, process will be adapted depending on experience.

How will this work be developed in the future

One year into the project, the project partners are now starting to think about sustainability beyond the project funding, depending on the success of the traineeship model and the relevance and quality of training provided to employers.

Further information

Further information about the project can be found on the CLOCH Project on Twitter and on Facebook.

For more details contact Emma Stagg at Conserving Local Communities Heritage Project: Cloch@cardiff.gov.uk