Apprenticeships: Expanding entry routes into the National Trust

Published : Wed 24th Jan

As the National Trust prepares to launch its apprenticeship roles in Spring 2024, we caught up with our Apprenticeship Manager, Caroline Noon, to find out a bit more about her role and the fantastic opportunities coming up in the world of National trust Apprenticeships.

What has the last year looked like at the Trust in your area?

It has been busy, with more apprentices enrolled on our apprenticeship programmes than any previous years – we have over 220 now on programme across 29 different routes, so there is a lot to organise and manage.  Luckily, I have a great team of 3 Apprenticeship Officers supporting me and this has meant we have been able to make some important changes.  We have changed the way we recruit and hope this will open our roles up to more people – applicants no longer apply with a CV and instead they just need to answer some questions related to eligibility and the role.  We will also be signposting those that are overqualified to more suitable roles and have worked with our Training Providers to challenge the entry criteria.  It will make the selection process more inclusive and builds on some of the great things we have already done in the area, such as virtual interviews, covering expenses for those coming to site and last year introducing the National Living Wage for all our apprentices.  Apprenticeships are such a great way to earn as you learn, so we want to make them as accessible as we can.

What does 2024 look like in your area?

Apprenticeships continues to be a really exciting and optimistic area to work. We have a large number of roles in the pipeline for 2024, with the majority launching in the Spring. It is great to be able to create these exciting new opportunities and I look forward to welcoming a new group of apprentices into the Trust in 2024 across a range of roles and areas.

Why are apprenticeships important to you?

I am lucky enough to be involved in shaping not only the careers of our apprentices but also the direction of the Trust through the new routes the organisation is able to develop and offer. With the ever changing landscape of apprenticeships, I believe there are real opportunities to keep expanding our entry routes into the Trust and this gives our organisation another tool to help us recruit great talent, whilst looking after our special places for ever, for everyone. When I was starting out there were not as many opportunities to develop your skills in as many areas as there are now and apprenticeships offer exciting new options, as well as a great cost-effective alternative to the more traditional university development route.

How long have you worked for The National Trust?

I started working for the Trust in January 2018 and have now been in my role for 6 years.  Previously I worked in Learning and Development and have now been involved in apprenticeships for over 10 years.  I still find the area incredibly interesting and am still learning new information all the time as our programme changes and grows.

What inspires you to come to work every day?

I enjoy exploring development opportunities in both traditional and new areas the Trust hadn’t previously considered or been able to offer, as well as developing and expanding the routes we already have. It’s an exciting time to be involved in apprenticeships and I love that no two days are the same. Every day is interesting, and I am learning about the impact and opportunities that are available. I love my job and am lucky enough to get paid to do something I not only truly enjoy, but also believe passionately in.

How does a typical day in the life of your role look?

There is no typical day, but then I am sure a lot of people say that! I am looking forward to getting out and about in 2024 to the amazing places we look after and talk about a subject that I am passionate about. I also love meeting new people and am lucky enough to have a role that enables me to do that.