Cultural Ambition Project – Case Study: Carwyn Williams

Carwyn’s love of history led him to apply for a Cultural Ambition Project traineeship. Having previously started A-Levels and spent two years studying electrical engineering, he reassessed his plans and sought out an opportunity to kick-start a career inspired by his personal interest.

During the traineeship, he was based at Plas Mawr, an Elizabethan townhouse in Conwy, and the nearby Conwy Archives. In both placements, he undertook a wide variety of tasks, with a typical day involving working with the general public as well as handling historical artefacts and documents.

Carwyn enjoyed the qualification element of the traineeship, in particular the flexibility to complete the work using different methods, such as written reports and witness testimonies.

Carwyn describes the effect of the traineeship on his life and career ambitions as “profound” and would recommend the opportunity to others, particularly those who are looking to turn an interest in history into a job. He personally plans to apply to university as the next step towards fulfilling his dreams.

Carwyn’s supervisor at Plas Mawr was Sheena, who saw the Cultural Ambition Project as an excellent opportunity for young people to gain insights into what it’s like to work in the heritage sector. She also felt that by working with young people from the local area, she and her colleagues would learn a lot themselves. In particular, they were keen to hear the views of trainees and their peers about cultural heritage, to help inform their work attracting more young visitors and staff.

It was a true team effort to prepare for Carwyn’s arrival and to support him during his time at Plas Mawr. Colleagues all worked hard to guide him in understanding workplace culture and to motivate him, for example explaining the purpose of tasks which might seem daunting, but which make an important contribution to the smooth running of the venue.

For Sheena and colleagues, it was great to see Carwyn developing his skills and growing in confidence. To other cultural heritage sites considering taking part in the Cultural Ambition Project, Sheena said “Go for it! It is very rewarding for both host and trainee”.

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