Reach South West is the Major Partner Museum consortia comprising the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery and Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery. As Major Partner Museums in receipt of funding from the Arts Council they have taken on a leadership role nationally for early career development in the arts and cultural sectors.

The 16 participants in this bespoke Prince’s Trust ‘Get Into Arts, Culture and Heritage’ module came from a diverse range of backgrounds. Supported by Plymouth Culture, the project enabled partners to support diversity and promote inclusion in their own organisation, but also encouraged the young people to engage broadly with the cultural landscape of the city.

Attendance at a ‘Get Hired’ event at Plymouth Museum has already resulted in four young people getting paid employment within the cultural sector, and all participants will continue to be supported for a further six months.

One of the successful roles has included PCMAG’s own Learning Museum Trainee position provided by the British Museum, which is being filled by Joe Woolley, who said

“I’m ecstatic to be given this great opportunity to both improve myself and help the museum to improve also. Museums in this country offer so much to the public and I am glad that I can be part of that”.

Another participant, Jo Correa, has also secured employment with the Theatre Royal in Plymouth.

Four young people participating in a workshop

Jo Correa (second from right) has already secured employment with Plymouth Theatre Royal

The museum sector has recognised that formal interviews and application forms do not always enable young people to demonstrate their suitability for a position, so are not always very inclusive as methods of application. The British Museum’s Learning Museum initiative aims to nurture the next generation of museum workforce and improve sustainability of the sector.

Through getting to know applicants for the Learning Museum via the ‘Get into’ programme, PCMAG has demonstrated a commitment to encouraging applications from a broad section of the local community. This includes those from the LGBT community, young people with disabilities and health conditions (including mental health conditions) and minority ethnic groups.

Raising aspirations, promoting opportunity and supporting those with diverse backgrounds or perceived barriers has been at the core of the project, which has also included ‘gateway’ seminars for emergent creative professionals delivered in venues across the two cities.

Find out more about British Museum Learning Museum and Prince’s Trust Get Into programme.

Supported using public funding by Arts Council England