The age of coal in South Wales may be long gone but a new generation of miners is still being sought in the Valleys. One of Britain’s top museums is on the hunt for two mining apprentices to ensure visitors can safely enjoy its unique experience. Big Pit National Coal Museum has launched an apprenticeship scheme to provide a new generation of staff for the industrial heritage museum in Blaenavon, near Pontypool.
Two “mining craft apprentices” with knowledge of the Welsh mining industry are being sought to make sure the public can continue enjoying the underground experience and learn about a key part of Wales’ history. They will work 37 hours per week, earn up to £22,378.59 once training is completed and must be comfortable working in confined spaces and underground.
Big Pit was a working coal mine until it closed in 1980 and is now one of seven national museums operated by Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales. It has become one of Wales’ most famous tourist attractions and is a living, breathing reminder of the coal industry in Wales. Visitors are able enter for free to go 300ft underground with a former miner to take in the sights, smells and conditions which faced miners, children and pit ponies who used to work below the surface.
The apprentices will learn how to operate Big Pit and will learn about mining equipment and legislation, while gaining practical experience under the guidance of museum staff. They will also be required to gain industry qualifications and train to become part-time members of the local Mines Rescue team. After six months of training, the apprentices will then become underground guides and be able to deliver their own tours to museum visitors.
Applicants for the roles should have an interest in and commitment to the work of Big Pit and Amgueddfa Cymru/National Museum Wales, while the ability to speak Welsh is also desirable.
Posted on: Friday 13th January 2017