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Skills for the Future

Skills for the Future trains and supports people from diverse backgrounds to start their careers in the museums and galleries sector. We run the project in partnership with the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Skills for the Future

Building on the past successes of MGS’s Interns and Heritage Horizon’s programme, we launched our biggest learning programme to date. ‘Skills for Success’ received funding of £535,000 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to help Scotland's museum sector to address issues including a lack of diversity in the workforce; a lack of accessible entry and progression routes; the development of an accredited work based learning culture in museum sector organisations; and to tackle vital skills gaps.  

This national learning programme provided 20 entry level and 2 management level non-graduates from diverse backgrounds with one year paid placements in museums across Scotland. Learners undertook roles vital to the sustainability of the sector, including collections care and management; digitisation; fundraising and marketing; learning programmes and volunteer management. Meanwhile, they had access to a bespoke training programme and worked towards the SVQ3 in Museums and Galleries Practice.   

Developing the capacity of the sector to deliver accredited work based learning

Skills for Success built on the capacity of the sector to deliver accredited vocational qualifications by creating an MGS assessment centre and training sector professionals as assessors and internal verifiers. These assessors and verifiers will be able to deliver vocational qualifications for the benefit of the sector now the project is completed.

Previous Programmes

Heritage Horizons and the MGS Interns Programme

Skills for Success will be the fourth vocational learning programme run by Scotland’s national body for museum development.  Since 2011 57 learners have successfully completed placements in 35 museum venues.  87% have gone on to find employment, with roles including Museum Managers, Curators, Collections Assistants and Learning Managers.  These vocational programmes have provided an alternative route of entry into the sector, improving training resources, and diversifying the workforce.

The Heritage Horizons Traineeship programme 2015-2016 provided the opportunity for non-graduates from a range of backgrounds to attain an SVQ level 3 vocational qualification in Museums and Galleries Practice alongside workplace learning during a 12-month paid placement in a host museum.

The MGS Interns Programme 2011-2014 supported 40 paid one-year internships which provided a high-quality work-based skills development opportunity for new entrants to the sector workforce. The programme addressed identified gaps in core skills, each focussing workplace learning in one of the areas of; collections care and management, digitisation, public programmes, and volunteer development management.


Evaluation of Interns Programme 2011 to 2014 (PDF, 1MB) Evaluation of Interns Programme 2011 to 2014 infographic (PDF, 3MB) Evaluation of the HLF Funded Heritage Horizons Programme (PDF, 1MB)


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

Markus Offer
Programme Manager and Skills Development Manager
Telephone: 0131 550 4143

John Campbell
Senior Skills Development Manager
Telephone: 0131 550 4131