THE BRITISH LIBRARY

Living Knowledge blog

29 August 2018

Meet our apprentices in Boston Spa

IMG_9458_sq_peter_carr_photography

Here is another opportunity for you to hear from the British Library apprentices.  Following on from our previous post, Ruby and Joe share their experiences of working at the Library's Boston Spa site in West Yorkshire.

Although the journey may be drawing to a close for some of our current apprentices; we need to get ready to welcome a new batch of bright, ambitious people joining the programme for the next year.

If you feel inspired by the feedback given from our apprentices, don’t forget the applications are still open – you’ve got until 31 August to apply, don’t miss out on the chance to be in a role you love.

IMG_9350_sq_peter_carr_photographyAll photos by Pete Carr.

Ruby Garlick

Digitisation Team

Boston Spa, West Yorkshire 

Tell us a bit about what you were doing before applying for the apprenticeship?

I studied drama at 6th form college and discovered that it wasn’t what I really wanted to do. I did feel a lot of pressure to go to university as all of my friends were talking about going. I was researching the different career routes and options available to me, and trying to discover what would be the best next step to take in terms of my career and what interests me.

How did you find out about British Library apprenticeships, and what motivated you to apply?

I found the apprenticeship advert whilst looking on the gov.uk website. I have always loved books and had wanted to visit the British Library down in London, so it instantly caught my eye. When I noticed the placement was only a few miles from my house I was amazed because I had never heard of, or seen, the Boston Spa site before. Straight away I began researching the Library and knew shortly thereafter that I had to apply because of how great of an opportunity it would be.

What is a highlight of your time working at the British Library?

Working for such a recognised organisation, and seeing all the different departments that play a part in the overall succession of the nation’s library from an inside perspective has been a valuable experience for me. The highlight of the apprenticeship for me has been being able to handle all of the rare and magnificent collection items, I never thought I would have access to such delicate and old manuscripts. I made a really good friend here too, who is also an apprentices, we spend a lot of time together which is nice.

What kind of challenges have you come across since starting the role?

Working with the digitisation equipment was a challenge. I hadn’t any experience with any machinery like it prior to starting my apprenticeship; understanding the software used and getting my head around the equipment took practice.

What’s next for you once you’ve completed the apprenticeship?

I am hoping to carry on to the next level course in business administration and continue with a career at the Library.

What tips would you give anyone thinking about applying for an apprenticeship?

Research the Library and get to know a bit about it before applying; this will help you in both your application and interview.

IMG_9437_peter_carr_photographyAll photos by Pete Carr.

Joe White

Technology

Boston Spa, West Yorkshire 

Tell us a bit about what you were doing before applying for the apprenticeship?

Before starting at the Library I was a supervisor for Speedo, the swimming company. I was originally planning to go to university and when I found out about this apprenticeship, I jumped at the chance. I had no huge pressure to go to university, some of my friends went but my closest friends chose not to.

What has it been like working at the Library?

My team is interesting and everyone is very nice, it’s great to work closely with other apprentices from different departments. I like working in an open plan office; it’s quite nice as everyone works together.

What is a highlight of your time working at the British Library?

My highlight has been building a survey from scratch, it’s been quite interesting and allowed me the chance to work with Jason and Ewan who are also apprentices in the team.

What’s next for you once you’ve completed the apprenticeship?

I would be interested in staying on at the Library to do a level 3 Apprenticeship in I.T.

What tips would you give anyone thinking about applying for an apprenticeship?

My tip would be to apply for everything you can to give yourself the best chances and the Library is a great place to work as you get lots of benefits such as flexible working hours. There is a social club which is very good as you can meet people from all over the Library.

Content and Community Team