NI’s Rachael Garrett named Intern of the Year

Rachel Garrett is named NI Intern of the Year
Published : 16 Dec 2016

The talent of extraordinary young people has been recognised in this year’s NI Creative & Cultural Skills Awards with Rachael Garrett, a preventive conservation intern with us, winning NI Intern of the Year.

Supported by the Arts Council for NI Lottery Fund, the awards show how youthful potential and creativity can be developed through support from employers, educators and the opportunity of paid apprenticeships and internships.

Speaking about her award, a delighted Rachael said: ‘the internship with the Trust has been an invaluable learning experience for me. I’ve been given the opportunity to interact with collections in a very hands-on way at properties across Northern Ireland.

‘Learning to adapt my skills to different collections, people and places has really raised my confidence. To get a paid internship in a climate where there aren’t very many opportunities makes it extra special, I couldn’t have afforded to take the time voluntarily so the internship has allowed me to develop my skills and keep myself.’

Dedication and passion wins through

Recognising Rachel’s dedication in her field the judging team said: ‘Rachael showed so much determination and hard work that her six month internship was extended to 14 months by her employers the National Trust, who nominated her for this award. In this time she has worked in a large number of the Trust’s properties across Northern Ireland and has assisted with the process of retaining the museum accreditation status.’

During her internship Rachael’s 'hands-on' experience has included emergency salvaging, environmental control, housekeeping and more. ‘I’m passionate about protecting heritage collections in Northern Ireland and would love to pursue a career with the National Trust,’ Rachel explains. ‘There are very few opportunities to gain experience in this field here which is why this internship has been so invaluable. Being able to observe people like Claire [Magill] and Christina [Taylor] and seeing their passion and talent has really inspired me in my own career.’

Recognising the importance of the awards Sara Graham, Nations Director of Creative and Cultural Skills, explained that now more than ever young people need a chance to get a foot on the career ladder.

“It can be incredibly difficult to land that first paid job within the creative industries and we are celebrating not only the young people who are the future of the sector but also the tutors and the employers who foster and develop that emerging talent,” she explained.

NI Creative & Cultural Skills Awards were also given for NI Apprentice of the Year, Tutor of the Year and the NI Creative Industry Skills Award.