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Review of Historic England BAME Work Placement by Shutong Zhu

After four weeks working with our Listings Team (September - October 2016), Shutong Zhu reviews the Historic England BAME work placement.

This has been a very interesting, challenging and effective learning opportunity; a worthwhile and enjoyable experience altogether.

During my work placement, I produced a report on engaging the under-represented groups in Enriching the List (ETL). This will contribute to a broader goal of raising the profile of Historic England to the general public.

I liked how the first week started off. I met and talked to many individuals of different levels from different teams and I read a pile of documents which were a bit overwhelming, yet very intriguing.

I could feel everyone’s awareness and embrace of the placements. I also enjoyed attending a variety of internal and external events. Some of the events brought me a holistic view of Historic England’s spectrum of work and the nation’s historic environment. Others helped me better understand Listing through practical projects and specific cases.

I asked a lot of questions ranging from exploring the organisation’s values and priorities to specific technical deliveries. I appreciated that people always welcomed my questions. They were very honest when answering them. Oftentimes this led me to share more thoughts and questions with them.

I’m impressed by how Historic England, from its leadership to all its workforce, has made this placement scheme happen. I had support from so many individuals in the organisation, which I specified in the acknowledgements of my report. I’m grateful to everyone for their genuine support, prompt responses, and ready help at all times.

Moreover, the workforce diversity agenda of the organisation, within the heritage sector, is very inspirational. It  is also an intriguing and challenging field for young people to consider for their career development. I have learned much more than I have contributed.

I look forward to hearing about and engaging with more of Historic England’s work in the future.

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