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MGS’ work to develop sector skills wins award

MGS’ work to develop sector skills wins award

Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS) are delighted to have won the Creative Choices Award at this year’s Creative & Cultural Skills Awards last night in Cardiff for their Skills for Success programme.

The Creative & Cultural Skills Awards shine a light on the individuals and organisations that have shown an outstanding commitment to skills development and learning in the creative industries, ensuring the next generation have the skills that the creative sector needs to thrive.

Skills for Success is the latest of MGS’s training courses aiming to address issues including a lack of diversity and accessible entry routes in the museum workforce. The programme also helps in the development of an accredited work-based learning culture in museum sector organisations. Jobs in the museums sector have been difficult for non-graduates to break into for many years, so Museums Galleries Scotland, as the national development body, are trying to change this to make museums more reflective of the communities they represent.

The programme, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, is currently providing twenty entry-level and two management-level non-graduates from diverse backgrounds with one-year paid placements in museums across Scotland while they work towards the SVQ3 in Museums and Galleries Practice. At this stage, our trainees are just over halfway through their learning journey and progressing well with their workload and their SVQ. One of the key achievements of Skills for Success is the development of a vocational qualification in partnership with Rewards Scotland, CCS Skills and the Scottish Qualifications Authority. Skills for Success not only upskills existing staff to address gaps in expertise but also provides an opportunity for new entrants from diverse backgrounds to gain their first foothold on the career ladder in the sector.

The Creative Choices awards ceremony took place in the beautiful National Museum Cardiff, and MGS’s award-winning Skills for Success programme came out top against other worthy nominees from Bubble Young Theatre Makers (London); the Prince’s Trust NI and Bauer Academy (Belfast); Oska Bright Film Festival (Brighton); and Drake Music (London). The awards are organised by Creative & Cultural Skills, an independent UK charity giving young people opportunities to work and learn in the creative industries.

The award was presented by Ahmet Ahmet, director of outreach and education for The Stage Newspaper. Speaking after being presented with the award, Markus Offer, programme manager for Skills for Success at Museums Galleries Scotland, said:

“It is a great honour to receive such a coveted award in recognition of the work we do at Museums Galleries Scotland. Recruitment in the museums and galleries sector has traditionally relied heavily on tertiary qualifications, with 88% of the current workforce educated to degree-level and 59% also holding a post-graduate qualification. This is obviously far from inclusive and acts as a major barrier to entry in terms of recruitment. We are working hard to address this issue and our pioneering qualification, Skills for Success, aims to embed a culture of vocational learning in the sector.”

Lucy Casot, Chief Executive Officer of Museums Galleries Scotland, said:

“The project’s success is testament to the commitment involved from the sector and, of course, our Skills for Success learners. Museums Galleries Scotland are delighted to receive the Creative Choices Award, as it celebrates and highlights the work we are all doing to support and drive positive change in the sector.”

Tomorrow (3 April), MGS will be hosting a job-focused session for everyone involved in Skills For Success, at St Cecilia’s Hall in Edinburgh. The aim of this careers event is to encourage the learners to think about next steps and how they are going to use what they have learned over the year to benefit their future careers.

Published 02 April 2019