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Culture Links is a career taster programme for ages 14-29. It raises awareness and aspirations in young people about the variety of careers in the cultural sector. These are places like museums, galleries, heritage, arts, archive and archaeology.

It has been created by 20 Surrey cultural organisations, in partnership with Careers Advisors and FE leaders to signpost young people towards careers in culture.

It is part of the Learning On My Doorstep team’s cultural education services. Scroll down to find out more about how we launched Culture Links with our fantastic Cultural Careers Fair.

What can Culture Links do for you?

If you’re a Careers Advisor?

Supporting KS3-5, we can look at options for:

  • Attending careers fairs and employer marketplace events
  • Attending career advisor network meetings
  • Providing a Culture Links CPD Networking Event for advisors on cultural sector rolesWe work closely with all Surrey museums and galleries and are happy to broker links between you and the county’s cultural organizations.

Culture Links has been developed in full consultation with school careers advisors and meets many areas of the new statutory guidelines and Gatsby benchmarks 4 and 5 by:

  • developing specific skills in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths
  • developing young people’s work skills, attitudes and behaviours
  • broadening career horizons and raise aspirations in this sector

If you’re a Student?

We can point you towards:

  • Cultural careers guides
  • Cultural job sites
  • Culture Links career-related opportunities as they become available with Surrey’s museums and galleries.
  • Enrichment opportunities e.g. volunteering, Duke of Edinburgh and Arts Award
  • Cultural sector job opportunities and traineeships as they ariseWhy not download the Culture Careers Guidebook. This shows the kind of jobs there are in places like museums, galleries, archives, heritage, archaeology and the arts.

    Or go to the Opportunities page on our website to find out more about jobs and volunteering in the cultural sector

We are always happy to offer advice and are always a point of contact for Surrey’s museums and galleries.

Further Education Course Leaders?

For Sixth Form and above, we can look at options for:

  • Providing a Culture Links Talk on Cultural Sector roles for staff and/or students
  • Being a point of contact for Surrey’s museums and galleries
  • Being a conduit between your college and our cultural organisations for real world of work projects for your students to apply their study in cultural settings.

Why Culture Links is important for young people

Background of Culture Links

Many young people do not think of the cultural sector as a career option or know about the fantastic variety of job opportunities. Apart from specific jobs linked to exhibitions, collections and education, they may not think that a cultural organisation has to run as a business, with marketing, promotion, events, catering, maintenance, HR, finance, fundraising and retail. No matter what subject or passion a student has, what course they are studying, there will be a role for them within the cultural sector. It is our role to help students become more aware of this potential career avenue.

Through our Learning On My Doorstep cultural education services, we are always looking for ways to inspire our next generation to come into the cultural sector.

We want to inspire future curators, conservators, cultural photographers, translators, archivists, educators, archaeologists. They are our future and we need to ensure skills and knowledge continue to be passed on.It is therefore important for young people to see themselves reflected in the cultural sector workforce. Only then will they feel like it’s a sector with relevance for them, where their voices have value and are included in shaping the stories, collections, exhibitions and events.

For these reasons, Surrey Museums Partnership, Surrey Heritage and our Surrey cultural partners set up Culture Links as a unique platform focused only on cultural careers. The same team is behind the successful Learning On My Doorstep cultural education group working with schools on building local cultural connections into the curriculum.

Cultural Careers Fair

We launched Culture Links in 2018 with a bespoke cultural careers fair at the iconic Brooklands Museum.Our Culture Links day was designed to help students discover the wide range of jobs in the sector as well as useful skills, routes and pathways they might need to consider. It helped to show where subject choices and courses fit in the wider context of real-world employment opportunities.

Over 30 cultural organisations came together in a spectacular day where students could experience World of Work talks from heritage professionals, practical activities linked to sector roles, and a Cultural Marketplace with a wide range of cultural employers, educators and career support services.  For many students, it opened a door to a sector with local to global opportunities in heritage, arts and tourism that was previously unfamiliar. And it gave them a relaxed way to have meaningful conversations with employers in the county.

The day was followed by a range of taster placements with our Surrey museum & gallery partners, providing students with an ‘all round’ inspiration and practical experience of careers in culture.

How does a Curator interpret artefacts?

How do museums use technology in exhibitions and audience engagement?

What does a Finance Officer do in cultural settings?

What does a Keeper of Costume do?

Why does working as a team matter in cultural settings?

What is involved with Exhibition Planning?

What does a Collections Officer do?

How does Retail work in museums?

What careers and study options will I discover in the Cultural Marketplace?

Working in Partnership

Culture Links continues to develop its work with secondary schools and Further Education year groups and colleges.

We are especially pleased to have begun an exciting new partnership with Prestige Collaborations and the Activate Learning group of FE colleges, putting students’ course curriculum skills into practice with meaningful projects in our museum and gallery settings.

The image shows the excellent set dressing by floristry students at Merrist Wood, who used new skills and knowledge to create Medieval-style foliage for a family event at Guildford Castle, working with their lecturer to understand the most appropriate plants, and working with Guildford Heritage Services staff to understand what to consider for the public.