Tate Celebrates National Apprenticeship Week | Since launching an ambitious recruitment scheme in July 2021, Tate has established 22 new apprenticeships, with 10 more opportunities set to launch this spring. Apprentices have joined teams across the organisation, including Conservation, Curatorial, Library and Archive, Marketing, Publishing, Digital, Development and Merchandise, providing vital new routes into a wide range of careers across the UK. These paid apprenticeships are part of Tate’s commitment to opening up the arts sector and diversifying its talent pool, ensuring that Britain’s museums and galleries better reflect the public they serve.

Upcoming opportunities include two unique Assistant Curator apprenticeships due to be recruited in the next month as part of an innovative partnership with MIMA and the School of Arts & Creative Industries, Teesside University. Announced to coincide with National Apprenticeship Week, these three-year roles will provide hands-on experience of the curatorial work at Tate Modern and Tate Britain, as well as academic study resulting in an MA Curating (Curator Apprenticeship). Unlike traditional Masters programmes, these apprenticeship opportunities are open to candidates who have not already completed a degree. Each role is fully funded thanks to the support of Tate’s donors, including members of the Tate Foundation Executive Board.

Tate’s apprenticeships are open to anyone aged 16 or above and all last for a minimum of a year. All apprentices are assigned a mentor and receive training from an independent skills coach to ensure they are well equipped for further career progression. In addition to recruiting new positions, the scheme has also provided several opportunities for existing staff to gain new qualifications through work-based learning.

Beyond the apprenticeships programme, ten further work placements were offered at Tate Liverpool as part of Kickstart, the Government-funded scheme offering 6-month trainee placements for 16- to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit who might otherwise be at risk of long-term unemployment.

Maria Balshaw, Director of Tate, said “People can face many barriers when trying to start a career in the arts, and we want to help change that. In the summer of 2021 we set ourselves an ambitious target to launch 50 new apprenticeships by the end of 2024, and it’s wonderful to see how successful the programme has been already. Working with partners like Teesside University, we can continue to create new opportunities and bring new talent to Tate and the wider sector.”

Professor Sarah Perks and Dr Paul Stewart, co-course leaders of MA Curating (Curator Apprenticeship) at MIMA, Teesside University, added “The new Assistant Curator apprenticeships at Tate are aimed at expanding the range of voices in our museums and galleries. This course is the inaugural Curator Apprenticeship in the country and offers a ground-breaking approach to curation at this level, with practical learning and public engagement underpinned by critical and global thinking. The apprentices will join an already expanding network of curatorial staff from diverse organisations across the sector and beyond.”