New jobs to boost Scotland’s heritage sector

Web two women working at the art gallery

£1.4m lottery funding is going to three major Scottish charities to address critical shortages in heritage skills 

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13th March 2017 by Paul Cardwell 0 Comments

More than 50 new jobs are to be created by three charities in a bid to tackle a critical shortage in heritage skills in Scotland.

Museums Galleries Scotland, Trees for Life and the Next Step Initiative have been awarded £1.4m between them to create a new generation of heritage craftspeople, digital specialists and entrepreneurs by recruiting and training people for 53 new roles.

The cash has been awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, as part of its Skills for the Future programme, to address specific skills shortages to ensure historic buildings, landscapes, species, industrial heritage and museum and archive collections are sustained for the future.

Each of the organisations awarded will work with a number of third sector partners to deliver the roles with a strong focus placed on people who may never have considered a career in heritage.

The largest share of the funding, £569,900, was given to Museums Galleries Scotland.

The national body for museum development will work in partnership with the Princes Trust to deliver 18 entry-level and four management-level work-based traineeships across Scotland for non-graduates.

Trainees will undertake a one year work-based programme in host museums across Scotland and an SVQ3 in museums and galleries practice.

Following their involvement, the trainees will have experience of collections management, public engagement, digital skills, fundraising and marketing and leadership.

Museums Galleries Scotland’s chief executive, Joanne Orr, said “This important funding from the HLF, will enable us to continue our commitment to diversifying the museums workforce and increasing entry points into the sector.

“We’re also delighted to be embarking on a new and important partnership with the Prince’s Trust, whose expertise will be invaluable in this project. We look forward to working together and thank the HLF for their continued support.”

Ethnic minority social enterprise the Next Step Initiative has been awarded £496,200 to create 16 traineeships aimed at people from minority ethnic and cultural communities.

They will each be taught conservation project management, collections handling, and learning and outreach skills within a number of organisations in a bid to help embed greater ethnic diversity into the country’s museums and built heritage sector.

Meanwhile, environmental charity Trees for Life has been awarded £376,800 to train 15 new workers to enable them to work on large-scale natural heritage projects.

The charity, which is working to restore the Caledonian Forest in the Highlands, will create the positions at Dundreggan Conservation Estate with a mix of roles for young less-educated local people, older career changers, and women wanting to work in less gender stereotypical roles.

Steve Micklewright, chief executive of Trees for Life, said: “There is a shortage of people who are able to manage estates to bring back natural forests and wildlife to the Highlands.

“This funding will help us train people in these skills, bringing new employment opportunities to local people and to fill the skills gap.

“We will be looking in particular for a broad range of trainees – especially young people from the Highlands, women, and people seeking a career change – to increase the diversity of people working in Highland estate management.”

Announcing the funding, Lucy Casot, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: “We know that our Skills for the Future programme is driving successful and lasting change.

"It’s providing a much-needed pool of talented people who will be the future guardians of the heritage sector ensuring that it continues to flourish. By pairing trainees with experts they gain access to specialist knowledge plus practical, paid, on-the-job experience.

"It’s simple yet highly effective but requires funding which we are delighted to provide."