It's hard to believe that 6 months have passed so quickly, but Museum Trainee Connor had his last day with us on Friday!
Connor joined the Museum a the end of July through the government-funded Kickstart Scheme, a programme aimed at 16-24 year olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long-term unemployment. Since then, he has gained experience in nearly all aspects of museum work, as well as learning more general, transferable skills such as customer service, delivering presentations and CV building.
Starting his traineeship during our busiest month, Connor was thrown in at the deep-end, very quickly having to cover the Museum front desk and take admission payments and customer enquiries. Luckily, he proved to be a quick learner and was soon running the Museum solo, leaving Curator Catriona free to work in the office and stores. Connor says that his confidence improved drastically during this time - not just from talking to visitors and answering questions, but also from being trusted with such a high level of responsibility.
But it wasn't all just front of house work! Connor also spent some time working with the Museum's collections, gaining practical work in accessioning, cataloguing, handling, photographing and packing a huge variety of items, from rifles to wedding dresses, dolls to ploughs. He observed conservation assessments and also assisted in putting UV Film onto glazing. Through training and conversations with museum staff, Connor also gained an understanding of other aspects of collections management, such as collecting policies, loans procedures and the ethics of disposals.
And as if that wasn't enough, Connor also carried out his own research project, conducted a gift shop stock-take, gained insight into our redevelopment project, delivered presentations to staff, wrote blog posts, took part in a CV-building workshop and even learned how to use our brand new digitising equipment!
Connor has been a huge asset to our organisation. He threw himself into tasks and learned quickly, providing an extra pair of hands while we were busy preparing for our Redevelopment Project. Taking part in this scheme also helped current staff members to develop skills in supervision and management, and will provide a framework for future Museum placements.
Connor says that he appreciated the opportunity to challenge himself, and has learned to trust in his own abilities and knowledge. He has left this placement with a clearer vision of the path he wants his career to take, and is setting off down that path armed with new skills, relevant experience and a new found confidence in himself. We wish him all the best with his future career!
Glencoe Folk Museum would like to extend our thanks to Museums Galleries Scotland for supporting the Kickstart Scheme and making our participation possible. We would also like to thank the National Lottery Heritage Fund for the grant towards our Redevelopment Project, part of which was used to purchase the digitising equipment that Connor worked with.