Career profile: Adam Fisk, Maintenance Apprentice

I enjoy working with my hands and building stuff, so when I was still at school, I applied for lots of apprenticeships in many different trades. I had three interviews: one with Monards and one with Darke and Taylor, both electrical companies, and the interview at the Museum. I got a D in English GCSE, but I needed a C for the apprenticeships I’d been offered. The Museum allowed me to start my apprenticeship as long as I resat English at College, which I did. I came to work at the Museum when I was sixteen – I was the youngest member of staff, and the first apprentice they’d ever had. The first job I remember doing here was gathering parts of a dinosaur (Edmontosaurus) from storage to be rebuilt!

I spend every Monday in College with other apprentices learning joinery, but at work I learn a variety of trades including handling collections, installing exhibitions and general maintenance of the Grade 1 listed building. I describe my working day as unusually hectic. There is no average day – every day I come by new challenges. It suits me because it’s really varied and I don’t get bored. My responsibilities have increased considerably since I started. I have taken on the role of fire marshall, PAT tester, Manual Handling trainer and many more. 

Whilst at the Museum I have been nominated for and have won several awards, including Oxford University Apprentice of the Year Level 1 & 3, and the Freemen of Oxford Apprentice Award. Almost as memorable I become Santa’s 6ft 4in Elf for the Museum’s Christmas Party every year! I hope that after my apprenticeship I will be working for the Museum still, but in a more substantial role. 

Since writing this piece, Adam has been made permanent Museums staff.