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MGS announces new £100,000 Vocational Skills Fund

The new fund will improve the accessibility of work-based learning in museums.

£100,000 fund for new routes into museum jobs

Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS) have been granted £100,000 for a new Vocational Skills Fund for Scotland’s museum sector. The fund is being established to make work-based learning in museums more available at all levels, from managers to those just setting out on their career.

For many years, recruitment in museums and galleries has focussed on university qualifications. 88% of the current workforce has a degree, and 59% also hold a post graduate qualification. As a result, the sector’s workforce could be more diverse, and museums are missing out on potential talent. Museums, and the heritage sector more widely, are now waking up to the fact that welcoming alternative entry routes into the sector could help to deliver employees with the experience-led skills and knowledge to move into leadership roles in challenging times with reducing public funding.

Through this new fund, MGS will breathe life into the vocational framework for the sector, creating a new career path that includes work-based qualifications such as SVQs. The fund will increase the accessibility of these courses and qualifications by funding measures such as training new assessors and creating new assessment centres.

Joanne Orr, CEO of Museums Galleries Scotland, said “MGS has been a long-term champion of vocational skills development, working with Heritage Lottery Fund to offer traineeships for non-graduates in museums across Scotland. Through the new Vocational Skills Fund, we hope to continue a cultural shift that embraces alternative entry routes and will result in a more diverse and resilient workforce.”  

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said:

“This fund represents an excellent effort to provide an alternative route into museums work and address the shaping of the current and future workforce of our cultural industry. I am confident this will help many to develop useful experience-led skills and pave their way into leadership roles.

“The Scottish Government remains committed to widening access to the arts and cultural sector through the creation of work-based career paths that will enable more people in Scotland to develop their skills for the future.”

Plans for the distribution of this fund are currently under development, with more details to be made available in autumn 2017. 

Published 05 July 2017