HLF invests further £13.6m in skills

From digitising archives to conserving historic gardens: 788 new placements supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) will deliver 700 years’ worth of work-based training across UK.

Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has announced:

‘… a further investment of £13.6m in 51 skills projects through its Skills for the Future and Training Bursaries Programmes. This money will deliver 788 new placements, adding up to 700 years’ worth of paid training opportunities for people seeking a career in heritage. It will not only support traditional conservation training but also a wide variety of more contemporary skills, such as using social media to get people involved in heritage.

Dame Jenny Abramsky, Chair of HLF, said: ‘This extra money expands our tailored skills programmes at a time when demand for training opportunities is extraordinarily high. The Heritage Lottery Fund has been championing work-based placements for a number of years and we are pleased to be able to give even more financial support through the Training Bursaries and Skills for the Future programmes. Together, they are on course to deliver 2,200 training places by 2015. This is good news for the heritage sector which a decade ago feared that many key skills would be lost.’

John Hayes MP, Minister of State for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning, said: ‘Britain’s heritage forms a fundamental part of our society and economy; it underpins the very fabric of this country and is envied the world over. It is vital that we make every effort to preserve it and the incredible variety of skills it takes to maintain our heritage sites.

‘The Heritage Lottery Fund should be commended for its track record on generating a significant number of opportunities for people to get on-the-job experience. This cash boost to 51 training projects will enable them to keep going for another three years and equip the heritage workforce with an even wider range of skills.’

Skills for the Future – 43 projects secure £9.4m of additional funding
Skills for the Future offers work-based training in a wide range of skills that are needed to look after buildings, landscapes, habitats, species, and museum and archive collections, as well as equipping people to lead education and outreach programmes, manage volunteers and use new technology.

Its focus is on vocational learning, helping meet the skills shortages identified by heritage bodies, and encouraging potential trainees from all walks of life. Trainees will learn how to get families, schools and communities involved with their heritage, bringing heritage sites and collections alive for the next generation.

Projects that have received additional HLF support include:

Keeping History Afloat: Traditional Boat Building – The Waterways Trust, Ellesmere Port
The Waterways Trust will use its additional HLF grant of £100,600 to continue its training scheme for skills relating to traditional boat building and the conservation of historic vessels. Working in partnership with National Historic Ships, the Trust will take on three more trainees for 18-months each at the Heritage Boatyard based at the National Waterways Museum, Ellesmere Port. It will equip trainees with a variety of hands-on skills, targeting both 18- to 25-year-olds and older trainees who live locally. This brings HLF’s total investment in the training scheme to £210,800.

Building on the Past in Lincoln – Lincolnshire County Council
This project focuses on skills in stone masonry, joinery, lead work, heritage brickwork and stained glass conservation and will be based at a new skills centre in Lincoln Castle (a recent recipient of an HLF £12m major grant). Seven additional trainees will be able to gain the skills required to attain NVQ 3 standard thanks to HLF’s additional support of £225,000. This brings HLF’s total investment in the training scheme to £475,000.

Heritage Engineering Skills – Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums
Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums has been awarded a further £498,600 for 24 placements which will encourage work-based skills in maintaining industrial exhibits in museums across the North East. The region is famous for its industrial and mining history making these traineeships in mechanical engineering, metalwork and carpentry particularly relevant. This brings HLF’s total investment in the training scheme to £988,700.

Cultural Heritage Skills in London’s East End – Whitechapel Gallery
The Whitechapel Gallery will continue to provide training and work placements thanks to an HLF additional grant of £134,900, focusing on cultural heritage skills within the Gallery, to another six young people from a range of backgrounds. Training will be delivered predominantly by the gallery’s archivist, the archive curator and staff within the education department. This brings HLF’s total investment in the training scheme to £398,900.

Training Bursaries Programme – eight projects secure £4m of additional funding
The Training Bursaries Programme, originally launched in 2004, has delivered nearly 700 placements to date providing high-quality on-the-job accredited training over a range of 50 skill sets. 81% of those who have completed placements have gone on to secure jobs in the heritage sector.

Projects that have received additional HLF support include:

New Routes into Conservation – The Institute of Conservation (ICON)
ICON has been awarded a further £968,800 for bursary placements in the conservation of objects and collections – from books and textiles to metalwork and architectural details. This brings HLF’s total investment in the training scheme to £2.45m.

The LEMUR Training Bursary Scheme – Herefordshire Nature Trust
The project has been awarded an additional grant of £667,700 to help 36 more trainees learn about natural heritage conservation skills. Success rates on the scheme have been high with 95% of trainees securing employment in this area of expertise. This brings HLF’s total investment in the training scheme to £2m.

For information about applying for a placement and project contact details: LINK

Both the Skills for the Future and Training Bursaries Programmes are now closed to new applications but new training placements will be created until 2015. Following strong support for the skills agenda in our recent public consultation, HLF plans to launch plans for a new open skills programme later in 2012.

HLF News: LINK

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