The first cohort of National Trust volunteer management trainees

The National Trust

Libby Wingfield , 16.07.2015
A paid volunteer management traineeship programme
The National Trust is piloting a training programme to recruit, train and develop a new generation of heritage volunteer managers.

Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the entry-level programme has recruited 16 full-time paid trainees. They have been placed at trust properties around the country, where they will learn the skills of managing volunteers as well as completing an accredited level 3 qualification in volunteer management.

Adopting a “no experience necessary” recruitment process for this programme has enabled us to reach out to new audiences and recruit individuals with a wide range of skillsets and life experiences.

From former teachers and students to hairdressers and police officers, we have an array of trainees who we are confident can bring innovation and fresh ideas to our volunteer offer, supporting us in responding to the challenges of a changing volunteer demographic.

A key objective of the programme is to promote and support volunteer management as a relevant and meaningful profession in the heritage sector. In practice, this means utilising the programme to support our trainees and existing volunteer managers with accredited skills development, resulting in the further development of high quality volunteering experiences for the individuals who provide invaluable skills, time and resources to our organisation.

While we have a range of professional development opportunities for existing volunteer involving managers, the traineeship will be piloting something new for us: a training offer that is fully structured for the needs of the National Trust, and accredited to a formal qualification framework.  

The programme will trial and evaluate the suitability of these approaches and we look forward to sharing our findings with the wider heritage sector.

Libby Wingfield is the volunteer management traineeship project manager at the National Trust