Apprentice Jackie Ann Judge wears winter clothing in a field at dawn
Archaeological Technician Apprentice, Jackie Ann Judge
Archaeological Technician Apprentice, Jackie Ann Judge

Meet Archaeological Technician Apprentice, Jackie Ann Judge

Name: Jackie Ann Judge (She/Her) 

Apprenticeship: Archaeological Technician Apprentice (Level 3)

Team: Aerial and Landscape 

Location: York 

What attracted you to an apprenticeship with Historic England?

Before realising that I wanted to go into archaeology, I had recently completed a Psychology degree and didn’t want to (and couldn’t afford to) start another degree – I wanted a more hands-on approach to learning.

I wanted to do an apprenticeship with Historic England because the role sounded very interesting and would allow me to gain broad experience in different areas of archaeology. 

What kind of things do you do in your apprenticeship?

It varies so much! I have college days on a Friday for my apprenticeship. But the rest of the time is quite unpredictable. I have done some aerial mapping, some excavation, a bit of geophysics, some illustration and I’m just getting started with some landscape surveying. I’m also looking to get involved with the Heritage and Wellbeing team.

Tell us about your favourite project that you have worked on so far?

Particular highlights would be getting to take aerial photographs in the plane and excavating at Birdoswald Roman Fort. I also got to excavate inside the great hall of Stokesay Castle which was a fairly strange but fun experience!

What does an average day in the life in your apprenticeship look like?

Some days I am office based so may be doing admin, research, college work, aerial mapping. Other days, I work from home which generally involves a lot of the same tasks but more college work on Fridays. And, often, I am away on-site visits with different teams and departments – this could involve excavation, geophysics, landscape survey, etc.

What was the application process like, and do you have any tips for aspiring apprentices?

The application process was different to any I’d experienced previously – the application was anonymous which was interesting. The questions were interesting to answer and the process really allowed you to concentrate on why you are interested in the role, interested in archaeology and what you think you could bring to the role rather than getting stuck in the more “tick list” standard I’ve found with most applications. As for tips for aspiring apprentices… Remember that an apprenticeship is intended to teach you the skills and knowledge that you need – so your passion and enthusiasm for the role is the most important thing to demonstrate throughout the application process!

The apprenticeship has definitely increased my confidence and helped me to be more socially confident too.
Jackie Ann Judge, Archaeological Technician Apprentice Historic England

How has this apprenticeship so far influenced your career goals and aspirations for your future?

The apprenticeship has given me an opportunity to try out lots of elements of archaeology I have wanted to try (and have considered as potential career aspirations) and many opportunities to try out things I never even imagined! It has given me a lot to think about in terms of career goals and aspirations, but I think it is helping me to narrow down my focus and I hope to have a much stronger idea of what I’d like to do by the end of it. It has always been my intention to save up and do a Postgrad degree in an area of archaeology after some more hands-on experience and I hope that by the end of my apprenticeship I will have decided on what that specialism will be!

What has been the highlight of your apprenticeship so far?

I think it has been getting to know everyone. The experiences I’ve had so far have been incredible and beyond anything I ever imagined but the opportunity to get to know and learn from so many people with such diverse skills and experiences has been amazing!