The National Lottery is investing £10.1million in 18 projects across the UK to help train a new and more diverse generation of heritage craftspeople, digital specialists and entrepreneurs.
A strong focus will be placed on people who may never have considered a career in heritage. There will be opportunities for ex-servicemen training as dry stone wallers, young novices working on historic ships, women training as steam boiler engineers and people from areas of high unemployment working in museums and visitor attractions.
Sir Peter Luff, Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), said: “There is no quick fix to this problem. The heritage sector has been slow in widening the profile of its workforce and as a consequence is on a long-term learning curve.
“We wanted to build on the legacy of our existing targeted skills funding – £47m to date – and make a further financial commitment of just over £10m. Why? Because we know the Skills for the Future programme can drive successful and lasting change. It’s simple yet highly effective: trainees paired with experts gain access to knowledge plus practical, paid, on-the-job experience.”
This funding is part of a wider commitment made by HLF in the Government’s Culture White Paper. It will address specific skills shortages to ensure our buildings, landscapes, species, industrial heritage and museum and archive collections are sustained for the future, as well as developing important public engagement skills.
Tracey Crouch, Heritage Minister, said: “Investing in new heritage talent will ensure we build a more sustainable sector, protect our treasured history and continue to attract visitors from across the globe.
“I’m delighted to see money raised by National Lottery players being used to train and develop people’s skills and deliver on our promise in the Culture White Paper.”
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