PACH Award Main

PACH offers students the chance to experience employer-led training, followed by a guaranteed funded internship within the sector.

Exeter Scoops Prestigious National Award from the Career Development Institute

A student training programme has won the Innovative and Impactful Employer Engagement Activity award at CDI’s prestigious UK career awards.

Pathways to Arts, Culture and Heritage (PACH), is co-ordinated by Jo McCreedie, Employer Liaison Officer at the University of Exeter, and Sam Jackman, from the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, worked in partnership with 16 cultural small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the South West, supported in part by funding from the Arts Council.

On hearing about the award, Jo McCreedie said:

“This award highlights the importance of relationships between Higher Education Institutions and UK business.

“I am thrilled that our programme has been recognised for employer engagement, as we work hard to ensure employers are provided with a first class internship resource, in addition to providing Exeter students with worthwhile career development opportunities.”

PACH offers students the chance to experience employer-led training, followed by a guaranteed funded internship within the sector. It is part of a suite of Professional Pathways programmes designed to enable students to grow their employability skills whilst exploring career options within particular sectors.

This project sees the University working closely with cultural organisations from around the South West, in particular the Royal Albert Memorial Museum. Sam Jackman, Leadership Coordinator for Early Career Development – Reach South West, who collected the award on behalf of the programme expressed her enthusiasm of the ongoing partnership between the two organisations:

“I’m very pleased that Pathways to Arts, Culture and Heritage has been recognised for its impact and innovation.

“Working with the fabulous staff at Exeter University we have created a programme that exceeded all expectations and delivered a valued experience to both the students and the employers who took part.

“I’m so happy to hear that plans to expand PACH are underway, so that even more students and organisations will have the opportunity to participate.

“I often hear from some of our PACH alumni who continue to utilise the experiences gained to progress their careers, and I’m delighted that we have generated such an amazing response through the programme.”

Students who took part in last year’s programme found the experience hugely beneficial to their future career prospects, with some participants already beginning graduate careers in the heritage sector.

Josephie Lynch commented: “This was a fantastic opportunity to learn about the huge business element which supports the Arts, Culture, and Heritage sector.

“My internship was an opportunity to explore a side of the sector that I had never considered and meet some really inspiring people along the way.”

The programme equally benefited the local cultural businesses who partnered with the University with Helen Horler, Culture Force, saying that “the internship was a useful insight for both parties.

“The intern told me how they benefited greatly from specific tasks that increased their understanding of the governance of the cultural sector and this also supported my business development. Everyone was a winner!”

Professional Pathways innovatively combines training with workplace experience to allow students to explore their career ideas. Each Pathway follows the same model of one week’s intensive training led by employers who are experts in their field, a group project based on real-life scenarios in the sector, and a guaranteed internship, to provide students with an invaluable experience in their chosen industry.

Pathways to Arts, Culture and Heritage is once again running this year, with a record-number of applicants for this programme. Over 100 students applied for a place and due to popular demand two training programmes will be running simultaneously this summer on the Penryn and Streatham campuses.

The Professional Pathways programmes have greatly expanded this year to include a wide range of sectors, from Digital Innovation to Politics, Government and the Public Sector, reflecting the varied careers which our graduates succeed in.

Professional Pathways are open to all students, both undergraduates and postgraduates, from all disciplines. Almost 600 students applied for a place on the 2018 Professional Pathways programmes, with 165 students so far gaining a place on the final programmes.

We are actively looking for SMEs to work with across all of our Professional Pathways. For more information on Professional Pathways, and for a full list of Pathways running this summer, please see our website.

If you are interested in working with us, or in hosting an intern, fully funded by the University of Exeter, please contact Jo McCreedie at  

Date: 20 April 2018

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