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Ipswich and Colchester Museum service

High St, Ipswich, IP1 3QH

About us

Explore Ipswich's past with stories that will inspire you. This fascinating and unique museum gives you the opportunity to meet the famous woolly mammoth, the elegant towering giraffe and other wonderful curiosities from the natural world.

Go on a journey through Suffolk's past from the Iron Age to Romans and Saxons. This museum gives a fascinating insight into the town and surrounding area's intriguing past. Discover more about past civilisations across the globe, you can even take a trip down the Nile in the Egyptian Gallery!

Working for Colchester and Ipswich Museums

Colchester and Ipswich Museums inspires creativity and learning through the innovative use of venues and collections that appeal to and connect with audiences locally, regionally and nationally.

We currently have seven trainees working for Colchester and Ipswich Museums Service. We will be advertising more traineeships in the summer 2019 with applications for the 3rd year of the Transforming People to Transform Museums recruitment taking place in June 2020.

Transforming People to Transform Museums Project Overview

Project Summary 
Transforming People to Transform Museums is a Skills for the Future programme funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund from 2018-2022, which supports trainees to develop core heritage and business development skills within local museums in and around Suffolk. 

Trainees will be hosted by one of four museums/museum services – Colchester + Ipswich Museums; Museum of East Anglian Life; The Long Shop Museum; and Palace House: National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art. Each trainee placement will enable trainees to gain hands-on experience and a strong foundation in museum/heritage roles. 

The trainees will make a real difference to their local communities by applying their new skills to bring about relevant and creative programmes and help secure the future resilience of each museum. 

Trainee Placement Overview  
Throughout their one-year placement, trainees will develop a wide range of core heritage skills, including research, documentation, conservation and interpretation, together with practical skills required to manage heritage events and plan, develop and deliver displays.  

Although each trainee placement is focused around a specific museum role (please refer to the list of trainee placements overleaf), all trainees will develop core heritage skills, together with transferable business development skills. For example, trainees will be working within real timescales and budgets that they will be expected to meet in a supported environment.  

In supporting trainees to develop both core heritage and transferable business skills, and through working closely with local communities in the recruitment of trainees, it is hoped that the project will lead to a more representative and resilient workforce at each museum. 

To help develop their skills, trainees will be expected to undertake a standalone Level 3 Diploma in Cultural Heritage through the awarding body AIM Awards. 

In addition, a Bursary of £14,400 will be paid to each trainee, per year placement (£1,200 per month). 

Trainee Placement Details

Museum Year 1 placements
Oct 18 – Oct 19
Year 2 placements
Oct 19 - Oct 20
Year 3 placements
Oct 20 – Oct 21
1 x Retail
1 x Digital Collections
1 x Retail & Marketing
1 x Digital Collections
1 x Retail
1 x Digital Collections
6 placements
1 x Digital Collections
1 x Exhibition & Display
1 x Digital Collections
1 x Exhibition & Display
1 x Digital Collections
1 x Exhibition & Display
6 placements
Museum of
East Anglian Life
3 x Heritage Management 1 X Retail & Visitor Services
1 X Marketing & Comms
2 x Heritage Management 7 placements
Palace House 1 x Community Engagement 2 x Community Engagement 2 x Community Engagement 5 placements
The Long
Shop Museum
1 x Events & Marketing 1 x Events & Marketing 1 x Events & Marketing 3 placements
Total 9 placements 9 placements 9 placements 27 placements

Each placement will last for one year and an additional six months’ mentoring will also be offered to trainees to help with their career progression beyond their placement.  

Trainees will remain at their main host museum base throughout their placement to undertake their work-based training, and external training days will be delivered at other partner museum locations over the course of the year. In addition, external placements will be undertaken by all trainees towards the end of their placement at other arts or cultural organisations that demonstrate best practice in relation to the skills on which the trainees’ roles are focused.

Trainee placements will be full-time (37 hours per week) and trainees will train as part of a seven-day rota, which may include weekends, evenings and bank holidays. Trainees shall be entitled to 28 days holiday (inclusive of public holidays) per annum, which will need to be agreed by the placement Supervisor.


The minimum requirements for the Transforming People to Transform Museums trainee placements are that those applying must be 18 or over at the start of the trainee placement and have evidence of a GCSE grade C or 4/5 in English, or equivalent.

If you have any questions, to join our mailing list, or for more information please contact:

Matthew Jones, Transforming People to Transform Museums Project Officer:


01473 433568 / 07949 967680  or

www.suffolkmuseums.org to download an application & monitoring form

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