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Exciting new apprenticeship opportunity at Exeter Library

Posted on 26 Oct 2020

Libraries Unlimited has launched an exciting new apprenticeship opportunity at Exeter Library.  The application process opens on Monday 26th October and closes on Monday 9th November.

In July 2020, Libraries Unlimited Board published medium-term strategic objectives for the organisation, focussing on playing a key role in community development and regeneration, and helping the economy of Devon and Torbay to recover from the pandemic and lockdown.

This new apprenticeship programme supports these strategic objectives through:

  • Opening up different employment opportunities to the young, disadvantaged and unemployed in the area, which is particularly important in the post-covid era;
  • Encouraging and enabling more diverse applicants, and playing a role in reducing educational inequalities across the county.

An apprenticeship programme is consistent with Libraries Unlimited core purposes, in particular to inspire people of all ages to learn, imagine, create, succeed and realise their potential.

This opportunity is for anyone at any age, and Libraries Unlimited has taken the decision to pay the National Living Wage rather than the lower apprenticeship level wages to hopefully open it up to a wide range of applicants. 20% of our apprentice’s work life will be used specifically for training and learning new skills, including writing essays and working on set projects, supported by Exeter Library staff and the training provider, Let Me Play, as they work towards completing the Library, Information and Archive Services Assistant level 3 qualification.

Sarah Southcombe, HR Advisor saidI am extremely excited about this opportunity and how it can be used to help our staff, communities and those most effected by lack and need around us in these turbulent times. By paying the living wage we are opening up this opportunity to those most disadvantaged financially whilst providing them a qualification and potential career path.

Statistics show that minority groups and the young, are more likely to apply for apprenticeships, and with a significant aging, white, population in our libraries (97% of the UK library and information workforce self-identify as white, compared to 88% in the population).  I am hoping this opportunity can be an open door for us to increase our diversity within our libraries. The scheme supports our objectives to encourage inclusivity through understanding of the communities we serve and I will be working closely with Exeter to ensure that we can support our apprentice and library staff within this new initiative.”

Libraries Unlimited will be one of the first organisations to be using the new apprenticeship standard that was introduced last year, a scheme which Libraries Unlimited helped to develop as part of the employer’s Trailblazer group.

This initial stage is a trial and, dependant on the success of this initiative, Libraries Unlimited is hoping to expand the scheme across the charity, both for internal and external candidates.

View the apprenticeship job role and full information pack here.

Please share this information with your social networks, talk to those who might know someone who could apply and share with other organisations working with young people.

Exeter Library is managed by Libraries Unlimited, the charity responsible for running Devon and Torbay Libraries.

For further information or if you wish to discuss this initiative please email



Libraries Unlimited believes…

…in the unlimited potential of library services to make a positive difference to people’s lives and communities through a shared love of reading and access to high quality information and facilities.