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An event to celebrate 20 interns who are completing yearlong internships at museums and galleries across Scotland will take place in Edinburgh today (25 September). The programme, which has been hailed a success by the museums and interns, has helped to secure an important legacy of future skills for the museums sector and plans are already in place to run the programme again in 2013.
Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS) developed the programme of paid internships with Heritage Lottery Fund’s Skills for the Future funding, to give graduates from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to gain valuable experience in a supported learning environment. The programme attracted 3,200 applications for just 20 internships. Already 11 of the 20 interns have secured further employment or education within institutions that include the Courtald Gallery and Windsor Castle.
Catherine Peck secured the role of Collections Intern at the University of Edinburgh. During her internship she curated the summer exhibition, conducted benchmarking research in London and Oxford, co-organised Festival of Museums events and carried out a range of archival projects. Catherine has just been appointed as House and Collections Officer at Saltram House, Devon.
Catherine said: “The internship has helped me develop into a capable and creative museums professional driven by best-practice knowledge of the sector and its standards. The experience has confirmed my desire to work with collections hands-on in a curatorial/collections-management capacity.”
Jacky MacBeath, Museums Development Manager at the University of Edinburgh said: “It has been an extremely positive experience hosting an MGS intern. Catherine has contributed enormously to our museums and collections, from her creative approach to public engagement and practical behind-the-scenes collections management to conducting original research and developing our online audience. Hosting an MGS intern has encouraged us to broaden our concept of ‘staff development’, not just improving our induction and training processes but weaving opportunities for development into every project and activity.”
Joanne Orr, CEO of Museums Galleries Scotland, said: “We couldn’t be happier with the success of our first set of internships. It has been immensely rewarding for us to see the interns develop and flourish throughout this experience. The fact that so many have secured next steps is testament to their own dedication and also highlights the value that employers put on candidates with practical skills.”
“Praise is also due for the host museums who have committed themselves unreservedly to the role of passing on the baton of their knowledge and have ensured that the interns gain so much from their experience.”
Colin McLean, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: “We congratulate these trainees on what they have achieved as they have grasped this fantastic opportunity to learn new skills. Their hard work will not only make a huge difference to their own lives as they embark on new careers but will play a critical role in supporting our economy. We have been delighted with the popularity of Skills for the Future whereby organisations can apply to HLF for a grant to fund training placements and will be investing more money in it in the autumn.”
The current MGS interns programme culminates with a celebratory event in St Cecilia’s Hall, Edinburgh on 25 September 2012. They will each receive a certificate which will be presented by the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop.
Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop, said: “I am delighted that Museums Galleries Scotland’s internship scheme has been such a success with so many of those taking part going on to further education or employment. This Government is committed to ensuring that all of our young people have the skills, knowledge and experience to move into and progress in work.”“This scheme is a fantastic example of the support on offer to Scotland’s young people, as well as ensuring that generations to come have the expertise that is so necessary in our museums and galleries sector, in line with the vision and aims of the National Strategy.”
In May 2012 the Heritage Lottery Fund announced their continued support for Museums Galleries Scotland’s Interns programme into 2013/14 with an award of with £416,000 Skills for the Future funding. The next group of interns will be recruited in spring 2013.
To find out more about the MGS interns programme visit The Programmes MGS Interns
25th Sep 2012
Aberdeen City & Shire
Angus and Dundee
Argyll, The Isles, Loch Lomond, Stirling & Trossachs
Ayrshire & Arran
Dumfries and Galloway
Edinburgh & The Lothians
The Outer Hebrides
The Kingdom of Fife
Glasgow & the Clyde Valley