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Skills for the Future

Skills for the Future trains and supports people getting into the museums and galleries sector. We run the project in partnership with the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Skills for the Future

Heritage Horizons

Our Heritage Horizons Traineeship Programme offered the chance to study for a vocational qualification whilst on a 12-month paid museum placement.

Non-graduates from a range of backgrounds are eligible to apply to the programme, which is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Trainees are placed with a wide range of host museums across Scotland.

Workplace learning is integral to achieving the SVQ 3 in Museums and Galleries Practice. Trainees learn core museum skills from practitioners in the workplace, with the SVQ acting as a framework for the learning.

All trainees will also collectively take part in a learning programme to acquire knowledge and skills to enhance both their career chances and the sustainability of the sector.

Trainees will be well placed to find related work on completing the programme, having the benefit of both a new qualification and the confidence that comes from work-readiness.

Heritage Horizons ran 2015-2016, with an alumni programme and evaluation and dissemination taking place until January 2017.

The programme is not currently taking applications.

SVQ 3 in Museums and Galleries Practice

This qualification builds upon the most relevant elements from existing National Occupational Standards to provide a vocational route specifically designed for the museums sector.

Find out more about the SVQ 3 in Museums and Galleries Practice on the SQA website.

Heritage Horizons Traineeship Programme hosts

MGS Interns Programme

The MGS Interns programme ran from 2011-2014. In two intakes, it saw 40 interns complete their one year work based training in 28 host organisations across Scotland.  Over 100 people were involved in supervising, mentoring, training and supporting the interns. The aim of the programme was to address gaps in core skills in the Scottish museums and galleries sector, to build the capacity of museum and gallery organisations to provide work-based learning and development and to leave a legacy of a more inclusive culture in Scottish museums and galleries.


The programme created 20 paid one year internships which provided a high quality work-based skills development opportunity for new entrants to the sector workforce. The programme sought to address identified gaps in core skills, each focusing workplace learning in one of the areas of; collections care and management, digitisation, public programmes, and volunteer development management.

In addition, as part of the scheme Interns have access to a specially commissioned central training programme for interns covering management, leadership, and enterprise skills for wider sector awareness and understanding of future sustainability needs.


Evaluation of Interns Programme 2011 to 2014 (PDF, 1MB) Evaluation of Interns Programme 2011 to 2014 infographic (PDF, 3MB)


To discuss the SVQ 3 in Museums and Galleries Practice, contact our Skills Development Manager.

Catherine Cartmell
Skills Development Manager
Telephone: 0131 550 4135