CLOCH – Conserving Local Communities Heritage

Heritage Lottery Fund

The CLOCH project was part of the Heritage Lottery Fund‘s ‘Skills for the Future’ programme and provided work-based training opportunities for 16 bursary holders over three years. CLOCH was a partnership project, led by Glamorgan Archives, bringing together libraries, archives and museums across South Wales to offer placements and work experience in the heritage sector.

Each cohort of trainees started their year-long traineeship with a 3 month induction based at Glamorgan Archives, after which the trainees moved onto their host placement in a museum, library or archive.  Placement partners included Swansea Central Library, Gwent Archives, the Cardiff Story Museum and Bargoed Library among many others. Our first cohort of trainees completed their traineeships in January 2013 and our final cohort finished in November 2014.

CLOCH was not a graduate trainee programme, rather it was an entry-level route into the sector for individuals who traditionally would not have considered a career in the heritage sector and we used Positive Action to recruit men under 30, who are under-represented in our workforce.

Throughout the year, trainees worked towards relevant qualifications and built up their knowledge and skills in four main areas:

  • Research and local history
  • Community engagement
  • Digitisation and
  • Conservation and collections management

Through a partnership with Grŵp Llandrillo Menai, the trainees undertook the Level 2 Certificate in Libraries, Archives and Information Services while completing their placements.

Meet the Trainees

Our final cohort of trainees started in November 2013. Liam, Connor, George, James and Tom are currently busy on their placements at Barry Library, Bargoed Library, Cwmbran Library, Glamorgan Archives and Monmouth Library.

Mike Richards

Mike Richards, Trainee at Swansea Central Library

I finished school in 2010 and started volunteering for BTCV environmental conservation volunteering throughout the UK. I heard about the CLOCH project through the company, and was very interested in the idea of bringing together libraries, archives and information services and was delighted on securing a placement at Swansea.

I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to gain work experience in the heritage sector, learn new skills and accredited learning through placements in libraries, archives and museums. I was very interested in building my knowledge and skills. My main interest at the start was digitisation, but after experiencing other areas in the sector my opinion has changed, along with the new digitisation skills I have gained so far I am now interested in community engagement and conservation.

My training will hopefully end with me having gained many new skills plus the qualifications and experience to start my career in the heritage sector.

Joe McCarthy

Joe McCarthy, Trainee at Tredegar Library

I’d left college and was struggling to find work when I saw the CLOCH traineeship advertised through Working Links.  It didn’t require experience and it was a chance to gain new skills and a career in a different sector – it looked like a great opportunity.

I started in January and so far I have learned many new skills such as digitisation, research and community engagement. But it’s also built up my confidence which has really helped me. At the end of my traineeship I will have gained a new qualification, work experience and new skills which I can use to start my career in the heritage sector