Cultivating the next generation of heritage professionals

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Paid apprentices are to be part of a new scheme bringing a new generation of workers into Argyll’s heritage organisations.

Argyll Aspires is being launched by culture, heritage and arts charity CHARTS, in collaboration with Dunollie Museum, Castle and Grounds, Auchindrain Historic Township and Argyll Estates, to help create jobs that will allow young people to live and work in the area.

The scheme, funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, aims to interest and involve those who have little access to further education and employment by offering  opportunities to care for collections, curate displays, promote heritage and assist researchers.

The three entry-level positions include a museum and galleries practice modern apprentice at Dunollie Museum, Castle and Grounds; a cultural venue operations modern apprentice at Auchindrain Historic Township and an archival trainee at Argyll Estates.

Seymour Adams, vice chairperson of CHARTS, said: ‘We are delighted to offer paid apprenticeships across the region over the next 18 months.

‘Argyll Aspires will support young people to build skills and confidence towards employability and support vital heritage venues to thrive.’

Each heritage organisation will bring young people into their sites, helping them to develop skills and understand the employment opportunities available.

Lasting longer than traditional work experience placements, these 12-month or longer placements will help young people to grow in confidence and to learn new skills.

Dunollie is the ancestral seat of Clan MacDougall and its site consists of the Medieval Castle Ruin and exhibitions housed in part of the 1745 Laird’s House, as well as extensive informal grounds. Its collections document the lives of the MacDougall chiefs and local people.

Auchindrain is a nationally-significant collection and is the most well-preserved example of a Scottish Highland farm township, while Argyll Estates includes the archives of the estates of the Dukes of Argyll and dates from the 13th century.

In addition to the three work placements, Argyll Aspires will create an exhibition at a public venue on the Isle of Bute, based on the collections of The Argyll Collection and curated by secondary school pupils from Rothesay Academy.

The Argyll Collection is a group of 173 artworks established as a learning resource for young people.

The exhibition will provide school pupils with access to heritage professionals and produce a resource which other children throughout the area can benefit from.