The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has announced it is making a further £15million available to support heritage skills training through its Skills for the Future initiative launched in 2009.
Skills for the Future has so far invested £26.8million in the programme designed to increase skills in the heritage sector. Outline bids for the latest allocation of funds have to be submitted by the end of January.
The programme supports 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 or use digital technology.
The National Heritage Training Group (NHTG) has been awarded £1.37million of the previous allocations and says it intends to bid for some of the next £15million in order to continue and expand its programme.
Its target so far has been to provide 60 work placements across England. It works in conjunction with regional groups such as the North East Civic Trust, the Heritage Trust in the North West and the Building Crafts College in London and the South East.
The aim is to provide a connection between those looking for practical training and those who can provide it – and NHTG emphasises it does not cost the provider anything. Both potential trainees and trainers are invited to contact NHTG.
The training aims to give the trainees NVQ-equivalent qualifications in heritage between Level 3 and Level 5.
The programme is also tackling racial and sexual prejudices and NHTG has already run several equal opportunities seminars.