Outreach and Community Engagement Trainee with Midlothian Council





Opening up Scotland’s Archives

Midlothian Council Archive

 Education and Outreach Traineeship

The deadline for applications has now passed, so please don't complete the application form.


Reports to:  Opening up Scotland’s Archives Project Manager
Location:     Dalkeith and Bonnyrigg
Bursary:       £14,500 per annum  (plus travel and training)


Traineeship purpose and context:

This traineeship is one of 7 offered this year in archive services across Scotland as part of the Opening up Scotland’s Archives project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Opening Up Scotland’s Archives seeks to address three main areas:

• to diversify the range of people coming into the archives workforce;
• to address gaps in the skills available in the archives workforce and
• to offer new routes for people to work in the heritage sector.

We especially want to attract people from different working environments or voluntary sector backgrounds. Rather than solely focusing on specific qualifications, the aim is to identify people who can bring talent and energy and skills to the archival world, who are keen to develop their skills, who want to engage with their local community and want to create better accessible online services.


Host Organisation

Midlothian Council Archives manages and provides access to the corporate archives of Midlothian Council and its predecessor authorities, including four burgh councils of Midlothian (Bonnyrigg and Lasswade, Dalkeith, Loanhead and Penicuik). The collection also includes a wide range of material from local businesses, schools, churches, clubs and societies, and private individuals. The collection is an invaluable resource for local and family history. It spans from the seventeenth century to the present and covers all aspects of the history and culture of Midlothian.

The Archive Service is part of the Midlothian Local and Family History Library and consists of a small but busy team. Their principal aim is to encourage greater use and awareness of the collection and to make it accessible to users of different abilities, including academics, schoolchildren and retired people.

Recent projects have included an online Roll of Honour of Midlothian casualties of the First World War and an activity pack for primary schools using census data to reconstruct a local high street. Staff are also creating online catalogues and finding aids as well as supporting the activities of local history societies. Find out more here.


About this placement

The trainee will primarily be involved in outreach work with Midlothian schools. Activities will be designed to fit in with the ethos and principles of the Curriculum for Excellence, and will include the development of learning materials, activity sheets, and suggestions for further projects based on archival materials. The trainee will be encouraged to think creatively to develop new learning materials based on the service’s archival holdings, with a focus on encouraging pupils to get involved in actively shaping their own learning activities.

At the end of the traineeship, the trainee will be expected to produce a finished and professionally-presented pack of learning materials, to be used by teachers themselves in the classroom. Throughout the traineeship, the trainee will also be encouraged to document his/her progress via blogs and social media updates.

In addition to his/her primary education and outreach activities, the trainee will be encouraged to develop skills and experience in other aspects of archives management. 

The traineeship will provide an excellent confidence-building opportunity as the trainee sees his or her ideas through to finished products of lasting value to both the host organisations and the trainee.


Skills you will acquire during this traineeship

As a trainee you will gain:

• Practical hands-on training supported by skilled professionals at your host archive service
• General workplace skills essential for a career in the cultural heritage sector
• Knowledge of the archival sector and related professions and practice in museums and libraries
• Real experience to add to your CV to help you find a job in the archive or wider heritage sector
• A network of trainees, supervisors, mentors and colleagues to support you through the year and help you explore ‘what next’

At the end of your 12-month traineeship, you will be supported to match your new skills with entry-level posts in the archive or cultural heritage sector and/or explore further training and qualifications.


Questions to consider

Are you

• Passionate about learning new skills?
• Enthusiastic about taking on new challenges?
• Looking for a new career?
• Confident in using IT?
• Always on social media (or want to learn more)?
• Great at getting on with people?

If so, we’re looking for a trainee with the potential to develop a new career in the archive sector. We want to build on your practical skills and experience in IT and show you the great opportunities that archives and their collections can offer.


Person Specification


• An interest in the heritage sector and community engagement
• Higher English, or equivalent, and Standard Grade Math, or equivalent.
• Good IT skills and experience in using IT and the web
• Demonstrable commitment to sharing and accessing information online
• Excellent communication skills, both spoken and written, and the ability to gather and share information in an interesting and understandable way
• Ability to work as part of a team and undertake self-directed research and projects
• Good people skills and the ability to engage with a variety of different groups and individuals
• Good problem solving skills, the ability to develop processes and procedures for new activities and resilience in coping with and overcoming setbacks
• Good manual dexterity and attention to detail
• Innovative and imaginative


• UK Driver’s License
• Experience of creating web content/resources, whether in a personal or organisational context
• Good organisational and time management skills
• Understanding of working with the public / good ‘customer care’.
• Interest in or experience of local history, including the role of local authorities
• Interest in or experience of primary and/or secondary education
• Artistic / graphic design skills or experience
• Good general awareness of Scottish History and Culture

Candidates should not already possess a postgraduate qualification in the area of heritage, archive or museum practice.


Additional Information about the traineeship

During the traineeship you will build a portfolio of skills, experience and training designed for you to take forward into future employment.  At induction you will be provided with your training plan setting out the learning objectives and activities in more detail.  The training programme is responsive to the individual trainee requirements and you will therefore have the opportunity to liaise with your trainer to establish an individual programme of support.  The Digital Preservation Trainee will be expected to successfully complete a 10 credit-learning module at SCQF level 8 with the University of Dundee (involving around 15 hours of study per week over 9 weeks – only part of this study will be undertaken during working hours)

This may be used to count towards a future qualification in Archives or a related discipline.

The seven Opening Up Scotland’s archives trainees will regularly meet up at archive services across Scotland during the year to learn from their peers, attend a variety of seminars, group training and work alongside skilled and knowledgeable mentors within each host organisation. As part of the peer learning programme all trainees will take part in a training week at the National Archives of Scotland in Edinburgh. As well as your specialist focus area, training will cover: Outreach and Community Engagement, Digitisation, Digital Preservation, Collections Development and Traditional Archive Skills.

Trainees will also be part of an online community offering support and learning opportunities.  IT access, stationery and other reasonable resource requirements will be provided by the placement provider. 


If you require further information not found in the on-line information and FAQs please email jobs@adoptanintern.org.uk

Location The trainee will be based in Midlothian, splitting time between Dalkeith and Bonnyrigg sites.  The trainee may also be required to travel off-site occasionally, but not on a frequent or regular basis.

Working arrangement This is a 51 week workplace-based traineeship starting in September 2016. You will work 37 hours per week.

Bursary £14,500 per annum

Nationality rules Applicants must be British or Commonwealth citizens with the right to live and work in the UK, or nationals of states of the European Union.

Closing date 15 May, 2016

Interviews These will take place on 20 June, 2016 

The deadline for applications has now passed, so please don't complete the application form.