A £10m fund to train the next generation of heritage craftspeople, specialists and entrepreneurs was unveiled today by Sir Peter Luff, Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
Skills for the Future funding will have a particular focus on people who might not have previously considered a career in heritage because of a lack of paid training opportunities. It will address a shortage of skills in building conservation and the preservation of landscapes, species, industrial heritage and museum and archive collections, as well as public engagement and business skills.
Speaking at the Association of Independent Museums (AIM) Conference in Edinburgh, Sir Peter Luff said: “In order to thrive, our heritage needs ongoing investment in training – and a heritage workforce that reflects our population. The Skills for the Future programme puts novices together with experts, helping them learn on the job. Our grants will ensure trainees are paid – so they can get the best possible experience to set them up for a new career in heritage.”
The launch of a third round of Skills for the Future is a key HLF contribution to the Government’s Culture White Paper.
Skills for the Future challenges the sector to recruit from a wider pool of talent, encouraging more people to see heritage as a career open to them. Grants given out under the programme will help organisations draw in expertise and recruit in new ways.
Past projects funded through Skills for the Future include: Brecon Beacons National Park Authority – Skills in Action; National Trust – Passport to Your Future; Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums – Heritage Engineering Skills; and The Waterways Trust, Ellesmere Port – Keeping History Afloat: Traditional Boat Building.
Further details of Skills for the Future, which opens for applications today, can be found at www.hlf.org.uk. The deadline for applications is noon on Thursday 13 October 2016. Decisions will be made in February 2017.
Sir Peter Luff, Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund at the AIM conference. Photograph by Adrian Murphy