IHBC’s practice signpost: IHBC’s Green Panel convenor on the ‘1 hour project’ – linking students with their profession

IHBC’s Green Panel convenor Crispin Edwards explores how the ‘1 hour project’ links students and their profession.

IHBC Director Seán O’Reilly said: ‘We’re delighted to feature to NewsBlog readers Crispin’s own practice insights to the most worthy of causes, supporting those entering their profession, or already emerging as professionals.’

SelfStarter page – ‘going from learning to earning with the IHBC…’…

‘Many will know about our volunteers and careers support on our SelfStarter page – ‘going from learning to earning with the IHBC…’ – and this initiative a great complement to that service’.

… sector desperately needs to increase its diversity and raise the participation in heritage…

Crispin Edwards writes:

IHBC members might have heard about or been approached to join the ‘1 hour project’, which began in December 2020. The idea is to provide contact for a student with an industry professional in their chosen field, to give them access to professional networks. This is particularly aimed at students from diverse backgrounds, and especially those who are the first in their family to go to university, and therefore less likely to have contact with graduates. Our sector desperately needs to increase its diversity and raise the participation in heritage by several groups, notably those from less well-off backgrounds, and from ethnic minority backgrounds. As well as potentially helping us to reach out to some of these audiences, this is a really good opportunity for mentoring.

I have registered, and for anyone who’s thinking about it, but not sure how much time it will really require, here’s a bit more detail. First of all, you need to register on the website here https://1hourproject.org/expert-registration/ , which is pretty painless. However, although it’s evolving, the choice of industry to say you work in is a bit limited. Engineering or tourism might suit some members, but ‘environment and agriculture’ seems to be the best fit for now. I sent an email afterwards asking them to add heritage conservation and town planning to my profile. Once you’re registered they will look at your registered profile, but also at LinkedIn profiles if you’re a member there, when seeking matches for students.

Although it’s called the 1-hour project, they actually ask you to commit to one hour in a week for 3, 4, 5 or more than five weeks, so the minimum commitment would be for three 1-hour sessions, assuming there are suitable matches (although I suppose you could always drop out at any time).

Once I’d registered, they got in touch by email which included a link to a YouTube video that’s aimed at the target student audience, which is only just over a minute long, and actually worth watching beforehand if you’re considering registering as a professional. Then you’ll be invited to a briefing session for professionals, which was done via Zoom. This was 45 mins and a good chance to ask questions. They’ll send you a link afterwards to the slides, and to a preparation document for use once you’ve been matched and are preparing to meet a student. Then you just need to wait for a match.

So, it’s probably going to take a couple of hours of your time to get set up, and then maybe 3 or more hour-long sessions, each with a bit of prep time. However, we all need to maintain our 50+ hours of CPD over 2 years. Taking part in these sessions, and preparing for them, might meet areas of competence 2 (keeping up your awareness of professional practice) and 5 (awareness of legislation and policy), and improve the mix of types of CPD activity you undertake, adding more self-directed learning and broadening horizons/volunteering, rather than organised or work-based learning.

At the end of June the project reported that over 4000 hours have been pledged by professionals, the number of students is growing (over 100,000 have been contacted, and by May they already had more than 250 students registered) and they are helping to prepare students, building confidence and aspirations so they can get the most out of the contact. A formal launch is planned for September.

See the project’s page on LinkedIn

See the IHBC’s SelfStarter page for more on volunteers and careers in conservation

See more on sector professional profiles in England

See the YouTube video

See more IHBC and IHBC’s HESPR on IHBC’s Conservation Wiki

See more on IHBC CPD

See the IHBC’s Toolbox

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