Admission to the scheme opens tomorrow, with a 31 January deadline for first-round applications. HLF will make a decision on successful applicants in May.
Jenny Abramsky, chairwoman of HLF, said the programme aims to build organisational resilience within the sector.
“The Skills for the Future programme is a huge success story, which will have a lasting impact on the sector and the wider economy,” she added. “This special funding initiative – building on what has already been achieved since 2009 – is designed to address the shortage of skills and training opportunities and will provide hundreds more training places.”
Skills for the Future was launched in July 2009, and since then has awarded grants totalling £26.8m. This includes additional funding announced earlier this year for 43 existing Skills for the Future recipients, such as Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums and the Whitechapel Gallery in London.
The programme supports work-based training in a wide range of skills that are needed to look after buildings, landscapes, habitats, species, and museum and archive collections, as well as equipping people to lead education and outreach programmes, manage volunteers or use digital technology.
Applicants are encouraged to build in supplementary training, such as developing business planning or marketing skills, to prepare trainees for the modern heritage economy.
Matthew Hancock, the minister for skills, welcomed the new funding: “Skills for the Future offers paid opportunities to people of all ages and backgrounds, and provides the double benefit of protecting and nurturing skills and attracting people who might not have previously considered a career in the heritage sector.”
HLF will be running pre-application workshops across the UK in November and December. More information and an online application pack can be found on the HLF website.