Have you ever wondered what skills are needed to work in an archive service? If youâ€™ve visited The National Archives you may have said hello to our security staff, asked a question in the reading room from a specialist or ordered a coffee from staff in the cafÃ©. You may have seen one of the education officers with a group of school children, spotted one of the marketing and communications team with a TV personality and a camera crew or the business support unit welcoming delegates from other government departments for a training day. If youâ€™ve ever waited in the coffee queue youâ€™ve probably stood behind a conservation assistant, a document service delivery operator, a finance officer or an IT specialist (itâ€™s a long list and I canâ€™t cover everyone). You may even have seen an archivist.
In short, it takes a team and lots of different skills to make sure that our users get the best possible service and our collections get the best possible care now and in the future. The National Archives is committed to improving the skills of its own staff and through the Transforming Archives programme we are supporting the development of specialist skills across archive services in England.
Transforming Archives is a collaborative project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund through its Skills for the Future programme,Â The National Archives, the Archives and Records Association, the Centre for Archive and Information Services at the University of Dundee and 13 host archive services across the country. We are currently recruiting for the second cohort of trainees and through the programme we are hoping to:
- diversify the archives workforce
- address gaps in the skills available in the archives workforce
- provide new routes into working in the sector