A group of smiling people posed in front of the archway of a church atop a tor.
The Historic Environment Advice Assistant Apprentices on their block release visiting Glastonbury Cathedral. © Historic England
The Historic Environment Advice Assistant Apprentices on their block release visiting Glastonbury Cathedral. © Historic England

Meet Michael Clarke, Listing and Casework Apprentice

In 2022, we asked Michael Clarke, a Listing and Casework Apprentice about his role and his experiences of working at Historic England. Michael's apprenticeship is generously funded by Benefact Trust.

  • Name: Michael Clarke
  • Job: Listing and Casework Apprentice
  • Apprenticeship programme: Historic Environment Advice Assistant (Level 4)

What is your day to day job role? Where are you based, and what does this job typically involve?

I work in the Midlands Listing team. Most of my work involves supporting the Listing Coordinators in the initial stages of applications; this entails determining whether an application is valid for assessment. I'm also involved in the Major Enhancements project in the High Street Heritage Action Zones (HS HAZs). I live near my office in Birmingham, and I make an effort to go into the office a few times per week.

What are the main reasons why you chose to complete the Historic Environment Advice Assistant level 4 apprenticeship programme?

I knew that I wanted a career in the historical and heritage sector, but I had a limited understanding of how to get started. Both the job and study aspects appealed to me; being part of the Listing team is a great way to start working in the sector and gives me excellent exposure to the area of work as a whole. This overview of the industry and being set up for a career in my chosen field were appealing.

What has been the highlight of the programme so far?

The two main highlights for me have been the first block release, where we spent a week in Somerset at Strode College, visiting sites and getting to know the other apprentices. Also, the opportunity to get the whole Listing team together for our team trip to Leominster was great.

Please could you briefly describe one area that you feel the programme has helped you develop in so far?

Learning about prehistory during the lectures at Strode College has been compelling. It is an area of history that I hadn't previously engaged with, so it was fascinating to research it and actively engage with the period during site visits to the British Camp in the Malvern Hills and Avebury.

What would you say to anyone else who may be considering applying to complete the programme? Why would you recommend it?

I would recommend it to anyone who wants to work in the heritage sector but doesn't necessarily know much about it. It has been so valuable for helping me understand what the industry does and my place in it. Without the programme, I would be confined to a role that gives me little insight into what else goes on in the industry and Historic England.

This year's Apprenticeships Week theme is 'build for the future'. Do you feel that this opportunity enables you to build for your personal future or that of the heritage sector? Please explain.

Absolutely. As mentioned in my previous answers, I feel I am gaining tremendous insight into different areas of the sector the different roles at Historic England in particular. This awareness has helped me understand the abundance of opportunities in heritage beyond the Listing team, in which I primarily function. The second block release was particularly insightful; numerous experts from Historic England taught us about their areas of expertise. These sessions improved my ability to perform in my current job and helped me think about how I want to develop at Historic England personally.

Funded by

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