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A programme which in 2011 attracted 3,200 applications for 20 internships received a boost today as Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) announced it has awarded Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS) £416,000 for its continuation. The HLF investment means that MGS can create and offer 20 further year-long, paid internships in 2013.
The MGS interns programme has not only proved popular with the interns who value the opportunity to gain experience in a supported learning environment, but is also being hailed a success by the museums involved for helping to secure an important legacy of future skills for the sector.
Joanne Orr, CEO of Museums Galleries Scotland, said:
“We are delighted with the news and thank HLF for recognising the value of our interns programme through this continued support.”
“We designed the programme to meet the needs of the sector and to offer opportunities for graduates to learn useful skills ‘on the ground’ from other professionals in a working environment. The high levels of interest from interns and the sector illustrated the appetite out there for a project of this type and we received calls to run the programme again. We look forward to continuing to bring lasting and positive change with the next round of internships.”
The current MGS internships offer not only an opportunity to gain valuable work experience, but also a £15,000 bursary for each intern. Interns were hosted by museums across the country and they have the opportunity to develop skills in collections management, managing volunteers, delivering programmes to the public or development using digital technology.
The 2011 interns programme had a focus on attracting graduates from diverse backgrounds and the competitive application process focused on general skills and competencies and did not rely on experience of, or direct training in, museums-specific skills.
One person to benefit was Shahana Khaliq from the Southside of Glasgow who has is currently undergoing the year long internship with Museums Galleries Scotland working with Glasgow Museums. Holding down three jobs, Shahana had been finding it difficult to establish a career:
“I really want to be working in the museums sector where experience is so important but I come from a background where I don’t have the financial support to go and do voluntary work. I have been working since I was 16 and simply can’t afford to take any unpaid work because I have bills to pay, and a home to support. This paid internship has made a massive difference to me. I have learnt so many new skills and am much more confident. I am sure it will help me secure a job in something I have always wanted to do.”
Neil Firth, Director of The Pier Arts Centre, said:
‘Participation in the MGS Interns programme has been of great benefit to our organisation. It has brought a dynamic and enthusiastic young person to our team who is keen to learn and to support us in developing and presenting our collection to the public. In addition the programme has enabled us work with colleagues across the sector to ensure that we are all engaging with and sharing best practice. I am delighted to learn that funding has been secured for further Internships and know that they will provide a real enhancement to Scottish museums and galleries.’
Colin McLean, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said:
“We have been overwhelmed by the response to these programmes which clearly shows a great hunger for skills training within our sector. Last year Museums Galleries Scotland alone received over 3,200 applications for internships. The Heritage Lottery Fund has been championing work-based placements for a number of years and we are pleased to be in a position to give even more financial support. It is great news for the heritage sector which a decade ago feared that many key skills would be lost.”
The next group of interns will be recruited in spring 2013. Further details will be announced by Museums Galleries Scotland.
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For further information about the interns programme visit The Programmes MGS Interns
28th May 2012
Aberdeen City & Shire
Angus and Dundee
Argyll, The Isles, Loch Lomond, Stirling & Trossachs
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Dumfries and Galloway
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