Opening the door for careers in heritage

The Burnet building which houses Campbeltown Museum.
The Burnet building houses Campbeltown Museum, one of the venues involved with the Heritage Horizons project.

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An Argyll and Bute scheme is offering young people a new route to gaining employment and skills in heritage.

Heritage Horizons, being run by the Culture, Heritage and Arts Assembly, Argyll and Isles (CHARTS) and Argyll and Bute Heritage and Museums Forum, aims to address the issue of an ageing workforce in the heritage and museums sectors by offering skill-building opportunities for young people.

Supported by funding from the ScottishPower Foundation, the project will work with heritage venues in Argyll which are located in areas of high unemployment and is developing 14 accredited placements for young people.

Participants will discover traditional building skills, learn how to guide visitors, or ‘takeover’ the social media accounts for a museum: all with the aim of improving their future employability.

Opportunities to learn job skills, especially for young people, have been worsened by the pandemic.

The Heritage Horizons project, which runs until May 2022, has three main strands of work: providing work experience placements for young people aged 18 to 30 who will study for a Trinity College Arts Award; accredited workshops and events; and a series of school visits.

‘Heritage Horizons will provide attractive and exciting opportunities for young people in rural areas of high social deprivation to engage with museums and other heritage venues,’ said Seymour Adams, of the CHARTS board.

‘Creative placements contributing to educational, archive and visitor services will enable young people to achieve recognised accreditation, reduce inequalities and address current challenges presented by an ageing workforce, through building
employability and enabling young people to participate in the wide range of opportunities which the heritage sector in the West Highlands offers in the post-Covid world.’

On Monday, Heritage Horizons held a free online launch event where the venues involved showcased the placements they are offering young people.

This included:

  • The Story of Kintyre – Campbeltown Museum
  • Traditional Building Skills – Strachur Smiddy
  • Social Media Takeover – Castle House Museum, Dunoon
  • Creating Great Visitor Experiences – Castle House Museum, Dunoon
  • Joan Eardley Centenary Exhibition – The Argyll Collection and Dunoon Burgh Halls
  • The Full Museum Experience – Dunollie Museum, Castle and Grounds, Oban
  • Exploring the Heritage of the Oban Dye Garden – Rockfield Centre, Oban
  • Terrific Tour Guiding – The Argyll Mausoleum and St Munn’s Parish Church, Kilmun
  • Storas Ulbha – North West Mull Community Woodland Company, Isle of Ulva

For those who missed the online event, there is still time to get involved. Visit www.chartsargyllandisles.org/opportunities to find out more.