London Transport Museum’s Young Freelancers are young people, aged
16 – 25, passionate about creative learning and museums. They work on a project by project basis supporting workshops and activities for different Museum audiences. They receive support and training whilst learning on the job, and also have the opportunity to complete an Arts Award qualification.
In this blog, Young Freelancer Aksana Khan talks about her first big project which involved supporting the Young People’s Skills Programme.
The aim of the Young People’s Skills Programme was to help a group of young volunteers to create an activity for the Skills Late 2018 event at the Museum. A Skills Late is a cross between a jobs fair and a museum late event. This year, we had a live DJ, an Apprentice Lounge, and stands from leading employers in the transport and technology industries such as Bombardier, Hitachi Rail Europe, Microsoft, Mott MacDonald, Siemens, telent, and Transport for London.
Our six talented, young volunteers had varied creative interests from animation and drawing, to story-telling and making maps. What united them was the desire to boost their own skills whilst helping other career seekers.
Lead Freelancer Becky Hatchett and I organised a Design Sprint Week for the volunteers, where they explored the Museum’s collection, attended sessions on presentation skills, and built their Arts Award portfolio.
During this week, they met with members of our Learning Team, Skanska graduates, Hazel Grant (Recruitment Manager at TfL), and Seema Kaler (Transport Planner) who all provided valuable insight on different skills building.
The main focus of Design Sprint Week was for the volunteer to identify solutions to common questions young career seekers have, such as: what questions to ask employers; what different types of jobs exist in transport and infrastructure; how to find out about jobs that suit their interests and skills.
The volunteers divided themselves into groups and presented their solutions to our Learning Team in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style – although much more jovial and relaxed!
The Learning Team were blown away by what the volunteers had come up with for the Skills Late event: a fun dress-up station where visitors could wear transport sector uniforms, and volunteers could dress up too while helping visitors navigate the employers’ stands throughout the Museum.
A 3D digital map with information portals on different careers, and a WhatsApp interface so that career seekers could ask people more about the jobs they are looking for. This solution inspired a career mapping activity, and a WhatsApp handout filled with questions to ask employers.
A highlight of the Skills Late event was how the young volunteers did a presentation on their activities in front of over 200 people!
As a Young Freelancer, I learnt how museums can cater to young people who are eager to kick-start their careers. It was touching to be part of something where young people were listened to and had their views taken to account.
This programme exposed them to gatekeepers of various opportunities; it gave them an opportunity to gain an Arts Award, as well as tangible skills and experience for their own job hunt. It was great to see how the group became increasingly confident as the programme drew on.
Get in touch if you want to join us as a volunteer yourself!