The Science and Heritage Career
Ladder (SHCL) is a sustainable and structured employment-based training
programme for young people from Birmingham to develop new skills in science and
The aims of the SHCL are to:
employment for young people
structured training for young people
of STEM and heritage careers
Taking inspiration and guidance
from a well-established programme at the New York Hall of Science, Thinktank
was the first museum in the UK to start its own Career Ladder. Each summer
since 2008 Thinktank has recruited six 16 and 17 year olds to take part in a
Training programme, the Thinktank Traineeship. So far 61 young people have
Thinktank’s inspiration to
create the traineeship, came from a need to make the museum more inviting and
relevant to the diverse communities in its immediate vicinity. The community need
was the provision of paid job and training opportunities for young people, in
an inner-city area of high deprivation and worklessness.
By recruiting young people from
its immediate local areas, Thinktank’s staff has become more representative of
Birmingham’s communities in terms of ethnic and socio-economic diversity, and
has helped us establish better links with new audiences.
The inexperienced and young
trainees first needed to be equipped with skills to enable them to work. This
is what the traineeship hoped to achieve in the short term; the long-term plan
was to make the whole Science and Heritage Career Ladder an integral and
sustainable part of Thinktank’s recruitment strategy a way for us to ‘grow our
own’ workforce. The programme has been a success is both respects and ten years after the
introduction of the programme 68% of the
Museum Enabler team at Thinktank are individuals who have taken part in the
In 2018 we are marking the
10-year anniversary of the start of the Science and Heritage Career Ladder in
two ways by:
increasing the reach of the programme by recruiting 22 young people to complete
the Traineeship across multiple museums in Birmingham.
evaluation project to measure the impact the SHCL.
The evaluation project will
include the 61 previous participants and will review the impact the programme
has had on both the participants and our organisation. Through demonstrating
success, we will be in a stronger position to advocate the programme to funders
and our colleagues in Science and Discovery Centres and Museums across the UK.