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West Dunbartonshire Council Museums Service: Creative Apprenticeships

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Why is this case study relevant?

The Creative Apprenticeships Scheme was developed by Creative and Cultural Skills (CCSkills) to offer an alternative to traditional academic and volunteering routes into the museum sector for non-graduates. The new apprenticeships combined working towards a new vocational award (EDI National Award in Cultural and Heritage Venue Operations Level 3) with real work experience in a host venue. West Dunbartonshire council was involved in the pilot creative Apprenticeship programme in 2009 funded by the Scottish Arts Council and was successful in applying to the MGS Creative Apprenticeship Fund in 2010 for their second apprentice.

What were the aims of the project?

To diversify the workforce, To forge closer links with local communities, to attract local talent.

What happened?

West Dunbartonshire Council recruited their first apprentice Sinead in 2009, funded by the Scottish Arts Council. Sinead was the first museum-based Creative Apprenticeship in Scotland and the Culture Section of West Dunbartonshire Council became involved at an early stage. Staff were keen to share their knowledge and experience with younger people wanting to learn new skills and gain experience in the museum sector, whilst working towards a level 3 vocational qualification in Heritage and Cultural Venue Operations. Sinead has experienced all areas of museum working including documentation, visitor services, learning and exhibitions and now has the confidence to open up the museum on her own, supervise volunteers and lead school workshops. She has provided an invaluable pair of extra hands whilst gaining a huge amount of experience.

Sinaed loved working with the children and the creative side of museum work. Learning what goes on behind the scenes,that as a regular visitor you don’t get to see. As she works with each member of staff they took the responsibility for ensuring that Sinaed is fully informed about and experienced in their area of work. Joe Traynor, Senior Officer for Museums sees the Creative Apprenticehsip programme as an extremely positive experience for all involved. We are all extremely pleased with all that Sinaed has achieved. Staff has gone the extra mile to make sure taht sinaed, and the scheme, are successful and it has enriched the work of the section. West Dunbartonshire Council has recruited it’s second apprentice Dominique with funding from MGS. Sinaed is assisting Dominique to develop skills, knowledge and experience needed for a museum career while developing her own skills by acting as a mentor and sharing her own experience.

What is the wider relevance?

This project was one of four creative Apprenticehsips funded by MGS Creative Apprenticeship Fund in 2010. The others were Queens Own Highlanders Museum, The Museum of Scottish Lighthouses and the Scottish Maritime Museum. This was part of a workforce development initiative to improve the diversity of the museum workforce in Scotland and to create skills development opportunities.

For Further Information

On West Dunbartonshire Council Creative Apprentices contact Joe Traynor 01389 772 011
For more information on the Creative Apprenticehsip Programme contact MGS Workforce Development Manager

Workforce Development

Project Start
1st Sep 2009

Project End

3rd Feb 2012

Who Led?
West Dunbartonshire Council Museums Service

Who else took part?

Funded by Museums Galleries Scotland.
Creative and Cultural Skills

Who Paid?
Museum Galleries Scotland Creative Apprenticeship Fund funded the employment costs

How Much?
£12, 500

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