Delivering skills outcomes

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We ask grantees to deliver skills outcomes for young people as part of their Young Roots projects. We know from our Young Roots programme evaluations that high numbers of participants are picking up new heritage skills – nature conservation, archiving, exhibiting, object handling and digitisation to name a few – and also important ‘soft skills’, for example, in leadership, communication and teamwork. The current Barclay’s LifeSkills campaign underlines the value that employers place on young people being able to demonstrate such skills.

At a time of high youth unemployment we shouldn’t underestimate the opportunity that Lottery projects provide for young people to gain experience and demonstrate employability. Some grantees have used such ‘hooks’ to recruit young people to projects. Many have planned into their projects practical training and ways of endorsing young people’s achievements, including in-house certificates and awards such as this environmental one promoted by the John Muir Trust. Our research tells us, however, that for some young people - in particular for those who are struggling in formal school settings - the chance to obtain formal accreditation or a qualification can be significant.

If you have helped young people develop skills as part of a Young Roots project please share your experience with us. If you have a question about how to plan good skills work, someone in the community might be able to help.

View Jo Reilly's profile Jo Reilly Oct 29 2014 - 11:51am
  1. Accreditation

    Young Roots projects involve young people in a wide range of heritage activity, from volunteering to conserve nature to exhibition and event design, and as such a wide range of accreditation options are available and can be planned into projects.

    Where young people are using an art form to express or share their learning about heritage, supporting them to gain an Arts Award, available across the UK, is an option. Someone at your organisation would need to train as an Arts Award adviser before getting started. There are three levels of award: Bronze is a Level 1 qualification in the National Qualifications and Credit Framework taking about 40 hours to complete; Silver is Level 2 and Gold is Level 3 (requiring a significant input of time and offering 35 UCAS points). Young people need to plan their work with an adviser, and keep a record by creating their own portfolio.  This Young Roots case study shows how the Family Le Bonche project utilised Arts Award.

    If helping to deliver employability skills is one driver for your project you might be interested to find out more about the ASDAN Employability qualifications. They are aimed at schools, alternative education providers and training organisations and can be used to accredit work-related learning and work experience across the UK. There are pre-16 and post-16 options.

    What other accreditation options are available? What has been valued by the young people you have worked with?

    Share with us any experience you have of delivering formal accreditation for young people.


  2. View Nick Randell's profile Nick Randell
    Offline | Last seen: 1 year 9 months ago
  3. A few more words on Arts Award, for those of you thinking about trying it, or already using it. You may have noticed that Trinity, who manage Arts Award, have recently launched Artsbox.  Artsbox digital tool to help young people capture the evidence they need to complete the award, while at the same time creating  a digital record of their own progress, which can be shared with others. It is free to use, as is the app. Have a look at the website for more info including ‘how to’ films.

    It’s worth noting that although a qualification called ‘Arts Award’ might not seem the obvious choice for projects connecting young people with heritage, quite a bit of energy has gone into making the award heritage-friendly in recent years. There are specialised resources on the website highlighting how the award has been used in museums and heritage organisations.

    It is increasingly well-tested in museum settings particularly, for example almost 2000 young people have gained Arts Awards through the Museums and Schools programme.  There is also detailed evaluation of Arts Council England funded pilot projects testing out Arts Award in different museums and heritage sites here.

    As Nick mentioned, we’ve got a couple of case studies on our website of Young Roots projects who’ve used the award, if you are looking for inspiration; The Family La Bonche and Heritage Highways. If you’re currently delivering a Young Roots project with Arts Award, we’d love to hear about your experience so do share.

    For Young Roots projects with a First World War theme, there are even special certificates for young people using centenary-related activity towards their Arts Award.

    On a personal note, I’ve been a convert to the potential of Arts Award in museums and heritage settings for a while, because I’ve seen the award used well to enhance young people’s experiences in a really effective way (here’s a blog I wrote on the subject when I was in my old job). It is not going to be the right qualification for every young person or every project, but it’s worth considering, and increasingly there are plenty of people out there in the heritage sector who’ll be happy to share their experiences with you if you’re thinking of going down this route.

  4. View Miranda Stearn's profile Miranda Stearn
    Offline | Last seen: 3 years 7 months ago
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