A Week In The Life Of A Historic Environment Advice Assistant Apprentice

This piece was written by Tim, HES Places Team Technical Assistant at the Historic Places Team in Lincolnshire County Council from September 2018 – 2019

My name is Tim and I am a Places Team Technical Assistant at the Historic Places Team in Lincolnshire County Council. I started working there in September 2018 after volunteering there for just over half a year. I am also currently in my first year as a Historic Environment Advice Assistant apprenticeship with Historic England, where I’m working towards achieving an NVQ Level 4 with the support of the HES project.

I work on the HBSMR, the Historic Buildings, Sites and Monuments Record, which is Lincolnshire’s HER, where I create and update existing records of planning proposals and our advice. I am also able to occasionally help my team members out with their projects. I have been helping record locations and current conditions of historic pubs in Lincolnshire as well as gathering a history of the pubs, as part of the research we are doing on how to become a funded project.

Through all this work, I get to discover the vast wealth of archaeological features and monuments that are present in the Lincolnshire landscape. There are also times when a really interesting feature will appear during development, such as a Roman villa uncovered at a quarry site in South Lincolnshire.

I am also learning a lot through my apprenticeship and HES traineeship. During this first year, I have learnt a variety of different modules, ranging from identifying architectural features on a building to researching to learning how to perform research and what resources are available to use. Our latest module was on Heritage in planning, and I have been given an assignment to provide archaeological advice on two proposed developments. These modules are really helping enhance my understanding of how the heritage sector works, as well as gaining valuable knowledge from a range of experts in the field. I am also finding the ability to apply this newfound knowledge to my own work, particularly this recent module on planning as I can apply that directly. Through the traineeship, I attended a stone carving class. I have never participated in or had experience in practical heritage conservation and this was both interesting and fun to take part in.

Looking back over the last year, I have learnt so much about the heritage of my home county and of heritage in general, both from work and the apprenticeship, and I have a great set of people constantly teaching and mentoring me to be the best I can be. I am really enjoying being part of a great team of trainees who are all eager to enhance their own knowledge, as well as the mentors who are always helping me monitor my progress and helping me grow.

I still have so much to learn. I have another year of my apprenticeship with Historic England. My colleague, Kathryn, has offered to teach me some advanced skills in GIS software which will benefit me immensely as it is a key tool in our line of work.

I look forward to whatever the next year brings and what more I can learn!