The museums and galleries sector is renowned for being tricky to break into. Our Skills for the Future project, in partnership with the Heritage Lottery Fund, tries to address this problem by training and supporting people to enter the sector. Skills for the Future has consisted of two programmes so far: the MGS Interns Programme and Heritage Horizons.
The MGS Interns Programme (2011-2014) supported 40 paid one-year internships for those trying find their first job in the sector. The programme provided experience and skills development to the interns, as well as addressing gaps in core skills at the host museums. The interns also benefited from training on more general topics like management, leadership, and enterprise skills.
The Heritage Horizons traineeship programme (2015-2016) gave a foot in the museum door to non-graduates from a range of backgrounds. The traineeships consisted of a one-year paid placement in a host museum in Scotland. During their placements, trainees also studied towards a vocational qualification in Museums and Galleries Practice. This SVQ3 gave a framework to on-the-job learning and made sure that all trainees covered core museum skills.
We spoke to Samantha Bannerman, Museum Manager for Dundee Museum of Transport, who has taken part in both sides of the project. Samantha was part of the first intake of the Interns Programme in 2011, working at the Black Watch Museum. She later went on to host a trainee as part of the Heritage Horizons programme.