Interested in hosting a trainee?

About the programme

Bridging the Digital Gap is a Heritage Lottery funded programme that aims to diversify the archives workforce by creating 24 paid technical traineeships, bringing digital skills and different backgrounds into the sector.

The traineeships are delivered in archives around the UK in three cohorts of eight. Trainees are employed by The National Archives and one trainee is seconded to each host archive for a 15-month training placement, working 32 hours per week.

Apply to host a trainee

Applications for archives to host a trainee from Cohort 3 (October 2020 – December 2021) are now closed.

The eight new trainees will be hosted in two consortiums so we are looking for applications from groups of four archives. One archive will be the lead archive for the consortium and make the application on behalf of the group. Two consortiums of four will be selected to form a cohort of eight archives.

We are seeking applications from archives who are currently carrying out meaningful digital archival work to high standards and can offer trainees a positive learning experience, enabling them to build the skills to apply for digital archives assistant (or similar) posts upon completion.

In the first instance, archives interested in applying to host a trainee should email and a member of the team will respond to you with the application pack and further information about the application process.

The deadline for requesting an application pack to host a trainee is Friday 21 February 2020.

What we ask of hosts

Host organisations apply in consortiums consisting of four archives, linked either by geography or collections focus. A lead host should be elected to represent the consortium on the programme’s project board. Each archive should provide a line manager to guide their trainee’s professional development and a mentor to provide additional one-to-one support.

Before applying, these archives must have already agreed how they will work together to support their trainees and bring additional value to the programme. The lead archive will complete an Expression of Interest application on behalf of the consortium and each host archive will sign a host agreement stating their commitment to work collaboratively and support the trainees’ development.

As part of the application, the consortium will be asked to produce a training plan giving details of special projects and work-based learning activities that support the online training modules and adhere to inclusive workplace practices. Consortiums are encouraged to create opportunities for trainees to get together at each other’s archives to complete pair or group assignments. Archives must also be committed to diverse recruitment and support the aims of Bridging the Digital Gap.

Our commitment to the traineeships

The National Archives will provide ongoing project management support to the programme and oversee the delivery of online training modules covering the core competencies of digital acquisition, preservation, access and engagement. Trainees will also attend six face-to-face training sessions enabling them to review online learning and develop a range of workplace skills. Travel and subsistence for these training days will be paid by The National Archives.