Story & photos: Cheryl Bailey, Senior Archivist
Earlier this year, local resident Lena Abdo-Samed started an apprenticeship at Sheffield Archives and Local Studies Library. She applied to join the Library and Archive service via the Council's Apprenticeship Scheme which organises training programmes and work-based placements for young people aged 16 to 24 across the city.
So far, Lena has had the chance to work in an environment where she can handle original historical documents and learn new workplace skills leading to a level 2 National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) in Business and Administration. Lena said: 'Before working at Sheffield Archives I didn't know what an archive was. I've learnt what an archive is and about the work they do to make documents and historical records available.'
Much of Lena's work has been focused on preserving and digitising documents relating to Sheffield's famous steel company, Firth Brown. She has scanned hundreds of photographs and is in the process of digitising the company's magazine The Bombshell, which dates from the 1920s, ready for upload onto the internet. Lena has also been shadowing staff in different parts of the group, including the Conservation Unit where medieval and modern documents are repaired, to gain a full range of work experience in a busy customer service environment ready to take to her next job interview.
Read more about the Firth Brown project which Lena is working on at: http://www.sheffield.gov.uk/libraries/archives-and-local-studies/sheffields-heartbeat-steel
For more information about apprenticeships with Sheffield City Council contact Terry Clements on 276 1151.
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