Eighteen projects to benefit from £10.1m Skills for the Future funding

Funding to address skills shortage and lack of workforce diversity
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Rebecca Atkinson
The New Museum School in London is one of 18 organisations to receive funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF) Skills for the Future investment, to help train a new and more diverse generation of heritage craftspeople, digital specialists and entrepreneurs.
Run by Culture&, the charity formally known as Cultural Co-Operation, the school will use its £727,400 investment to provide 12-month work placements for 34 people largely from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, or from lower socio-economic groups.

Taking place in museums across the capital, the project will include training in conservation, digitisation and public engagement.

A further 24 people will benefit from a paid training scheme run by Colchester & Ipswich Museum Service, which received £568,000 from Skills for the Future. The trainees will learn transferrable practical skills such as marketing and managing budgets, as well as heritage skills such as collections management.

The British Museum in London received £743,600 to train 27 individuals in digital data management, preservation and access. The placements will take place in museums across the UK.

Creative & Cultural Skills has received £709,600 to create 33 training placements across Wales to fill vital skills gaps in the workplace.

And in Scotland, Museums Galleries Scotland will use its £569,900 grant to deliver 18 entry-level and four management-level work-based traineeships non-graduates.

A further £496,200 has been awarded to the Next Step Initiative, based in Glasgow, to run the Ethnic Minority Career Museum, providing 17 traineeships for minority ethnic and cultural communities to learn heritage new skills.

A number of other projects to recieve HLF funding will focus on providing trainees with specialist skills, including working on heritage railway visitor attractions and the repair of wooden ships.

HLF said the funding will help address “critical shortages in heritage skills” and help support a more diverse workforce.

“There is no quick fix to this problem. The heritage sector has been slow in widening the profile of its workforce and as a consequence is on a long-term learning curve,” said Peter Luff, HLF’s chairman.
“[We] know the Skills for the Future programme can drive successful and lasting change. It’s simple yet highly effective: trainees paired with experts gain access to knowledge plus practical, paid, on-the-job experience.”
This funding is part of a wider commitment made by HLF in the UK government’s Culture White Paper to specific skills shortages.

According to HLF, 75% of Skills for the Future trainees secure a job in heritage following their training. The programme is now closed to further applications, and the current tranche of investment will continue to create training placements until 2021.

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