Learning Apprentice  (24 month contract)

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  2. Learning Apprentice  (24 month contract)
Company: Gainsborough’s House
Location: Sudbury, Suffolk
Salary: £9.50 per hour
Reports to: Learning Officer
Hours: 35 hours per week, occasional weekends
Holiday: 22 days, public holidays
Closing date: Monday 26th September
Interview date: Tuesday 4th October
Application Form: https://gainsborough.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/App-Form-Learning-Apprentice.doc

Job Description

Join the team developing Gainsborough’s House as one of the leading heritage attractions in East Anglia. Gainsborough’s House will be a major visitor attraction in the East of England as a world-class museum, art gallery, arts and study centre.  It has built four new exhibition galleries, to display historic and contemporary exhibitions of international appeal and expand its ability to attract audiences.  Due to open in late Autumn this year, the Learning Apprentice will be part of the team as we welcome visitors to the newly opened museum and galleries.  

This contract apprenticeship post is responsible to the Learning Officer and based in Sudbury, Suffolk. Responsibilities will include assisting the Learning Officer in planning and delivering a year-round programme of workshops, courses, outreach and learning resources for adult learners, schools, students, families, young people, and community groups.

The apprenticeship, supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, is designed to offer a route for people to access a career in the cultural heritage sector. You will be mentored throughout the contract to help support your professional development.

The successful candidate will have a demonstrable interest in learning in a heritage environment with a wide variety of audiences. Good ICT skills are required. You will be someone who can work under your own initiative and as part of a small team. A flexible, creative and positive approach is essential.

Gainsborough’s House Vision Statement

Gainsborough’s House, the childhood home of Thomas Gainsborough is a national centre for the exploration of Gainsborough’s art, the development of the English landscape and the art of printmaking.  With Thomas Gainsborough as its inspiration it seeks to bring to life the art and ideals of Thomas Gainsborough to inspire a new generation of visitors.

Gainsborough’s House

One of the greatest artists of his age, Gainsborough is renowned throughout the world for his portrait and landscape paintings. The house, ‘a most excellent Brickt Mansion,’ was bought by John Gainsborough, the artist’s father, in May 1722. Thomas Gainsborough (1727-88) was born in Sudbury and was baptized there at the Independent Meeting-House in Friars Street on 14 May 1727. He lived here until around 1740 when, as a young teenager, he was sent to London to pursue a career as an artist.  He returned to Sudbury in the spring of 1749 until 1752 when he painted his celebrated Mr and Mrs Andrews. He never lost the influence of his native town and county. ‘Nature was his teacher, and the woods of Suffolk his academy,’ noted an obituary after his death in 1788.

In 1958 Gainsborough’s House Society was formed to purchase the house and establish it as a centre for Thomas Gainsborough. The Museum opened to the public in 1961 and has remained open for over 50 years. Gainsborough’s House has undertaken an £8.7m National Lottery Heritage funded development project to bring Thomas Gainsborough to life for a new generation of visitors.  

Reviving An Artist’s Birthplace: A National Centre for Gainsborough

The project will enable Gainsborough’s House to engage and inspire a larger and more diverse range of visitors, secure the future of this nationally significant heritage and spearhead the regeneration of a market town.  It will safeguard Gainsborough’s Grade I childhood home and garden; interpret and improve access to the most comprehensive collection of his art, display more works in a new showcase gallery’ and explore his life in the special atmosphere of his home.  By creating significant exhibition spaces and increasing the heritage and learning offer, the project will attract and inspire more visitors and promote the exploration of the surrounding landscape so inspirational to Gainsborough and Constable, whose family collection we will display.  

How to Apply

Applicants should send their application form with a covering letter to: 

Trudy Pickerin, Gainsborough’s House, 46 Gainsborough Street, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2EU 

or via email: trudy@gainsborough.org 

DEADLINE: Return your applications by 12 noon, Monday 26th September

Interviews will be held on Tuesday 4th October 2022 at Gainsborough’s House

Job Purpose:

Under the supervision of the Learning Officer, the learning apprentice will support the new heritage learning programmes.  They will assist in the planning, development, and delivery of activities for our target audiences, in particular hard to reach communities, older and vulnerable adults, families, and school groups. Throughout the apprenticeship the appointee will gain responsibility in planning, managing, and delivering learning programmes for a variety of audiences.  They will gain evidence of a broad experience of project work and access training and development opportunities as appropriate.  

Main Duties and Activities

  • Assist the Learning Officer with the running of the schools’ programme to ensure schools receive a high-quality learning experience, including setting up and packing away resources
  • Deliver creative workshop sessions to school groups of all ages as part of our learning team both in Gainsborough’s House and as part of our outreach programme to schools.
  • Help planning and delivering workshops for our target audiences, in particular hard to reach communities, older and vulnerable adults, families, and school groups.  
  • Assist in the planning and delivery of our learning events programme, including working with partners at events across the region where appropriate
  • Evaluate learning events and activities, identifying and implementing improvements if required 
  • Help promote and disseminate our learning opportunities at Gainsborough’s House through our website and social media
  • Carry out the responsibilities with regard to the Safeguarding, Equal Opportunities and Health and Safety policies.


  • Ensure the Gallery diary is kept up to date with Learning activities 
  • Maintain and update the schools booking system regularly

Manage and produce copy for print and web 

  • Write copy for print and the web 


  • Be a flexible and committed member of the Gainsborough’s house team, carrying out any other reasonable tasks that might be required in line with general level of responsibility of the post

Additional Information

This post will require some evening and weekend working.

A DBS check is required for this role.

The role involves some physical elements such as moving learning equipment and materials.

Attributes Description 
Skills & Experience Excellent communications skills, both written and verbal
Good level of administrative and ICT skills
Demonstrable experience of working effectively as part of a team 
Integrity, diplomacy, and professional skills to work effectively on cross-team initiatives 
Ability to use own initiative
Desirable: some experience of working with children or adults to support their learning 
Desirable: Experience of working in a learning environment
Desirable: Experience in a museum, gallery, or heritage site 
Knowledge & Qualifications 5 GCSE grade A—C (4 and above) including English and Maths 
Interest in working in the arts and heritage sector with an emphasis on cultural and heritage learning
Knowledge about and interest in art and heritage
An understanding of the need to make arts and heritage accessible for all
Personal Attributes Reliable and positive attitude
Excellent interpersonal skills in dealing with people at all levels 
Ability to work calmly under pressure and keep to deadlines
Strong organisation and planning skills 
Ability to work independently and as part of a team Adaptable and flexible 
Ability to work under pressure, dealing with peaks of activity and deploying resources effectively to meet deadlines 
Interest in art and the 18th century
Willingness to work some weekends and evenings

Equal Opportunities

Gainsborough’s House is committed to providing equality of opportunity for all staff and welcomes applications from all individuals for advertised jobs that match their skills and interests. We welcome applications from all sections of the community. We particularly encourage applications from Black, Asian and minority ethnic candidates.