National Trust Enployee

When a trainee starts, we carry out an Individual Accessibility Needs Audit to understand the training and support which line managers and property teams require to support a trainee.

Line managers working with groups under-represented in the National Trust 

The Passport to your Future project has learnt how to recruit people from groups under-represented in the National Trust and the wider heritage sector.

The Passport to your Future project has learnt how to recruit people from groups under-represented in the National Trust and the wider heritage sector.  We need to take account of any barriers they have had to employment and make reasonable adjustments to enable them to succeed.  We need to support people and create a clear pathway to enable individuals to become work-ready.

When a trainee starts, we carry out an Individual Accessibility Needs Audit to understand the training and support which line managers and property teams require to support a trainee.

If someone had a physical disability we would work alongside a partner organisation which was specialist in that field. They provided training and support for both the property and trainee. This worked well, for example, with visual impairment and dyspraxia. Early experiences showed we needed to be better working with people with mental health issues.

Project managers felt that sometimes we were not supporting people to face up to issues which may have caused them to be unemployed for lengthy periods before they came to the project, so the focus was on 50% personal skills development and 50% technical skills development.

So from year 2, every trainee had a buddy. This system ensured that issues, fears and anxieties were addressed at an early stage before they became too large for the property or the trainee.

The programme manager worked hard with properties to ensure that a strong line management structure was in place to develop technical and personal skills.

By year 3, the programme manager felt that mental health issues were prevalent among trainees and that properties needed more support.

At the Accessibility Needs Audit, some people were worried their job offer would be withdrawn if they were totally honest. Some trainees did not declare the full extent of their issues at the beginning and the full extent might only arise a couple of months later.

This meant that line managers were unable to plan an appropriate level of reasonable adjustments or give appropriate staff training right from the beginning. Sometimes they had to firefight the issue at a slightly later stage.

Line managers were given training on how to work with people with mental health conditions and this was delivered in years 3, 4, 5 and 6.

The programme manager feels that the organisation would benefit from developing more expertise in the area of mental health.

Ingredient for Change Header Image
NTEmployee In front of lake

The main learning for this training was:

  • One in 4 people suffer from mental health conditions in the normal population. 1 in 6 are suffering at any one time.
  • How to deal with mental health conditions appropriately is something everyone should know if they are managing staff, volunteers or interns.
  • The best expert on a mental health condition is the person suffering from it and they can probably be one of the greatest teachers about the problem.
  • People with a mental health condition need a very supportive line management structure.

The mental health training providers used were Jobs in MIND.

‘The mental health training was so important and useful. I believe I matured and developed during that day and feel I am a different person now. Ignorance was not bliss and I have really asked a lot of questions around self.’

Line manager

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