The University of Edinburgh- CRC Modern Apprenticeship


Job Title: CRC Modern Apprentice




Department / School: Information Services Group / Library and University Collections / Special Collections




Reports To: CRC Services Manager

 Salary: £17,338


Job Purpose

To provide high quality customer service at the Centre for Research Collections, and work towards a Level 3 Modern Apprenticeship in Customer Services (SCQF level 6).

The Centre for Research Collections (CRC) is the main space for anyone using the University of Edinburgh’s historic and heritage collections, including rare books, archives and museum collections. The centre is part of Information Services, the part of the university that provide library and IT services.

The apprentice is part of the CRC User Services team. This consists of a Services Manager, Services Supervisor, 7 library assistants, 3 student posts and the apprentice. The team is responsible for delivering excellent customer service to students, staff and visitors who wish to access the collections. It is a friendly and supportive environment, with colleagues on hand to support the apprentice at all times.

The Modern Apprenticeship in Customer Service allows you to gain a broad range of transferable skills including communication, organisation, interpersonal, customer service, using your initiative, teamwork and problem solving.

Main responsibilities

  • Learn how to provide front line support for users accessing the University’s cultural and heritage collections at the Centre for Research Collections and associated sites (St Cecilia’s Hall, Scottish Studies Archives, University Collections Facility). (40%)
  • Gain skills to provide invigilation and user support to the students and staff of the University as well as external researchers and visitors, whilst ensuring the safety and security of valuable and unique collection items. (20%)
  • Learn how to provide a first point of contact for enquiries relating to the University’s heritage collections, giving answers at point of need and to remote users. (20%)
  • Work with the training provider to achieve the Modern Apprenticeship qualification. (15%)
  • Assist staff to carry out background tasks as are required to support the service. (5%)

Key contacts / Relationships:

  • Staff at the Centre for Research Collections
  • Customers: academic staff, students, members of the public
  • Colleagues at other collection sites, including St Cecilia’s Hall, School of Scottish Studies Archive & Library, University Collections Facility.

Planning & Organising

  • With support from the CRC Services Manager, plan a weekly schedule of work depending on service priorities and training workload.
  • Organise your day to ensure immediate deadlines are met.
  • Work to the set rota provided by the CRC User Services team, which includes time slots for when you are on duty in the CRC Reading Room or reception desk. 

Problem Solving

  • Work within the protocols and training provided to solve problems relating to enquiries and access to collections, deferring to colleagues or senior members of staff for complex or challenging problems.
  • The apprentice is closely supported and supervised during the induction period to ensure they are confident in what they can and cannot do themselves.

Decision Making

  • Contribute to team discussions about service development.
  • Make decisions based on the protocols provided, passing more complex decisions to colleagues or senior staff.

Knowledge Skills and Experience


Attribute Essential Desirable
Education, Qualifications & Training ·       Minimum National 5 in English and Maths





·       Customer service experience (through volunteering or employment)


Knowledge & Experience ·       Enthusiastic and willing to learn about the heritage and tourism sector.

·       Punctual and reliable.

·       Self-motivated and committed to forging a career in this area.

·       Accurate and methodical, with the ability to be flexible to deal with problems as they arise.

·       Good communication and interpersonal skills, with a friendly personality who is approachable and willing to help.

·       Have an interest in working with library, museum or archive collections.



·       Working understanding of IT packages (e.g. Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook)




Modern Apprenticeships are open to people of any age. In this instance, national funding for training is available to those aged 16-24. Training is provided by Limelight Careers. Before submitting an application, it is essential that you contact Limelight Careers to discuss your eligibility for the apprenticeship, by using their online form. We will not accept applications from individuals who have not been in touch with Limelight Careers.


Additional Information

This role will be working with the CRC Users Services Team in the Centre for Research Collections to provide access to the University’s historic and heritage collections. It will also include working at other associated sites that provide access to collections (St Cecilia’s Hall, Scottish Studies Archives and University Collections Facility). Working closely with team members at each of these locations, you will gain experience of delivering exceptional customer service to students, staff and visitors to the collections.  Each of these locations is on the University campus with their own small team and their own collection, but operates as part of the wider Library and University Collections department.

Health & Safety Requirements for the role

This job requires:

  • Manual handling of book trollies and boxes
  • Fetching items from high shelves using safety steps
  • Manual handling training is provided as part of the induction programme.