Opening the door for careers in heritage

The exterior and main tower of Dunollie Castle will benefit from a £141,000 restoration grant. NO_T07_Dunollie01

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Young people are being offered a new route to gaining employment and skills in heritage, thanks to an Argyll and Bute scheme funded by the ScottishPower Foundation.

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.

The project will work with heritage venues in Argyll which are located in areas of high unemployment and is currently 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 18-30 who will study for a Trinity College Arts Award; accredited workshops and events and school visits.

On Monday August 30 from 7pm to 9pm, Heritage Horizons will hold a free online event where the venues involved will showcase the placements they are offering young people.

Seymour Adams, a member of the CHARTS board, said: ‘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.

‘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. Find out all about it at our online launch event on August 30.’