‘Royal’ apprentices at Tower of London could be guarding Crown Jewels

Edward I's 13th century crown [photo: News Team Heritage Royal Palaces]

Edward I's 13th century crown [photo: News Team Heritage Royal Palaces] - Credit: Royal Palaces

The guardians who look after the Tower of London and other royal palaces have signed up to the government’s programme for three-million paid apprentices in Britain over the next five years.

Flags are up for apprentices at The Tower

Flags are up for apprentices at The Tower - Credit: Archant

Historic Royal Palaces, which is an independent charity, is touring colleges recruiting youngsters with a passion for our national heritage.

Apprentices could find themselves guarding the Crown Jewels or tending the royal gardens at Hampton Court Palace.

One IT apprentice, Abu Taher, gave a presentation at Tower Hamlets College two miles away in Poplar, in London’s East End. The 20-year-old from Limehouse is working at The Tower’s IT department.

Abu Taher... new aprpentice at Tower of London

Abu Taher... new aprpentice at Tower of London - Credit: Royal Palaces

“I had been interested initially in just becoming a web developer,” he revealed. “But the Royal Palaces apprenticeship covers other stuff which I’m passionate about and it’s helping me become a professional technician in the IT industry.”

Royal Palaces offers a Visitor Services apprenticeship in the cultural heritage industry that teaches practical skills with a nationally-recognised qualification, paying a salary above the national minimum wage for the whole course.

It recruits on a 12-month fixed-term contract working towards vocational qualifications such as NVQ Level 2 with the Visitor Services team, a BTEC National Diploma in Horticulture with the Gardens and Estates team and Level 3 ITQ Diploma with the IT department.

Tower of London's West Gateway

Tower of London's West Gateway - Credit: Archant

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Government Skills Minister Nick Boles said: “We are committed to three-million more apprenticeships in Britain by 2020 and are encouraging young people and employers to become part of this.”

Paid internships at The Tower and other royal palaces last six to 24 months with a structured programme of work experience and learning. They are in retail, conservation, curatorial, communications and human resources.

All apprenticeships and internships are on Historic Royal Palaces website.

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