MGS launches paid traineeship scheme for non-graduates

Heritage Horizons aims to increase workforce diversity
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Rebecca Atkinson
Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS) has been awarded £422,400 to deliver a paid traineeship programme that offers an entry route for non-graduates into the sector.

Heritage Horizons is a one-year accredited vocational programme designed to increase diversity in the sector. The programme will launch this autumn with 20 participants receiving tax-free bursaries of £15,000 to support them through year-long traineeships in host museums.

MGS has previously run a similar internship scheme for graduates. A total of 40 people took part over a two-year period, and MGS says that all of the first round of interns have gone on to work in museums or pursue further education. The scheme was oversubscribed, with more than 3,200 people applying in 2012/13.

Heritage Horizons will offer similar training to non-graduates. On completion, trainees will receive from an SVQ Level 4 vocational qualification in museum practice.

Joanne Orr, chief executive of MGS, said: “People aspiring to work in museums often find it difficult to obtain relevant experience and training. This funding will support the development of non-graduate traineeships to meet skills shortages in the sector, opening doors to exciting and rewarding careers.”

Heritage Horizons is being funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF) Skills for the Future programme, which also funded MGS’s paid internship scheme. The 20 host museums will contribute £500 towards the overall programme costs, help to develop learning plans and manage the recruitment of their trainees.

Colin McLean, head of the HLF in Scotland, said: “It is evident that the heritage sector is becoming more and more popular as a career option, with demand for traineeships such as MGS’s [internship] programme exceeding high.

"Through our Skills for the Future programme, we are giving a broader range of people the opportunity to pursue a career in heritage by providing work-placement training while ensuring that key heritage skills are not lost.”

Update 31.03.2014

The article was updated to make it clear that all of the first round of interns from the scheme have gone on to work in museums or pursue further education. The second round is still ongoing.

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