MGS says all of the 40 participants on its paid internship scheme have gone on to secure roles or further study in the sector.

MGS launches paid traineeship scheme for non-graduates

Rebecca Atkinson, 20.03.2014
Heritage Horizons aims to increase workforce diversity
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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MA Member
01.04.2014, 13:27
This should be the way to deal with the unemployment crisis in this country. Have a national employment office complete with an entire army of workers divided into divisions for each sector. A young person for example should be subject to a skills match then sent to one of the sector divisions or corps where they will be trained. The museums themselves should be run along guild or syndicate lines. Pay should be performance based and a system of fast streaming should be introduced. The current capitalist austerity climate means people are hunting for work, living off scraps and being servile. Freedom of movement and labour is a must. The system must not be inflexible, there should always be a trial period. There are big gaps in many of the UK's sectors in terms of skills and yet over 2 million people are still searching for work. Stop all the zero hour part time minimum wage poundland nonsense and start filling in the real jobs. Capitalism has failed. All sectors should be promoted in schools and colleges. Widen peoples horizons. Each sector should be funded through a series of sector based money pots which each syndicate/guild member should contribute to. Good financial housekeeping is a must. I am not saying bodies should expect a constant flow of funding and then waste it.
Rebecca Atkinson
MA Member
Online Publications Editor, Museums Association
31.03.2014, 09:53
Hi Clare - the article should say that all of the first round of interns have gone on to work or further study. I will update the article now.
Clare Gee
MA Member
Arts, Museums and Heritage Service Manager, Orkney Islands Council
28.03.2014, 16:31
The 2nd internship programme through MGS is still on going. We (Orkney Museum) and the Pier Arts Centre are currently working in partnership delivering our second shared internship which will continue for several months yet. I think the article suggests that the programme has been completed and the 20 current interns have found work, however, this is not the case - although obviously I really hope all 20 do find work in the sector at the completion of their internships. We have certainly found our experience of the programme incredibly positive and rewarding, and very much hope the Heritage Horizons programme is equally successful.