The Collections Trust are looking for Creative Employment partners

 29 July 2014

Nick Poole, CEO of the Collections Trust, explains why they are seeking partners to join their consortium application to the Creative Employment Programme.

Museum Apprentice Program students at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis
Museum Apprentice Program students at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis

In an increasingly competitive economy, all creative industries need to stay relevant to survive. For museums, refreshing and innovating our public offer depends on developing a thriving, diverse workforce – enabling people from all walks of life to build a career in our great cultural institutions.

When many people think of a career in museums, they can be put off by the idea that they will need post-graduate degrees in history and fine art just to get their foot in the door.

In reality, the modern museum sector demands a rich mix of creative, cultural and entrepreneurial skills. We need people who can inspire classrooms full of schoolchildren, deliver innovative programmes or build award-winning apps to help in the mission to engage as many people as possible in their cultural heritage.

Apprenticeships provide a great opportunity for young people to develop their skills while learning what a career in today’s museum sector is really all about.

The Collections Trust is the UK and international professional association for people working in Collections Management in museums.

Collections Management is a body of professional practice that combines conservation, research, technology and management to help museums do more with the collections in their care.

We estimate that at least 15 per cent of the UK’s museum workforce is involved in or responsible for Collections Management in their institution.

Alternative routes into heritage

The great thing about Collections Management is that it provides a route to building a career in museums that is based in practical skills not academic qualifications. Many people come into the profession as unqualified or part-qualified handlers, cataloguers or digitisation assistants, only to find themselves in senior positions in marketing, exhibition planning, facilities management and leadership.

Apprenticeships provide a great opportunity for young people to develop their skills while learning what a career in today’s museum sector is really all about. At the same time, enthusiastic apprentices can make a huge difference to the capacity issues which the sector currently faces in caring for the nation’s heritage.

This is why the Collections Trust is currently seeking partners in the museum & heritage sector to join us in a consortium to bid for funding under the Creative Employment Programme.

It can sometimes be hard for museums to find funding for staffing and capacity, and many struggle to create apprenticeship opportunities from their core budgets. The additional support available from the Creative Employment Programme provides a much-needed impetus and financial support to get these apprenticeships off the ground.

Enthusiastic apprentices can make a huge difference to the capacity issues which the sector currently faces.

Joining the consortium

If you are a museum or cultural heritage institution considering creating an apprenticeship in a collections-based role, we would like to talk to you about joining our consortium.

Creative & Cultural Skills can provide financial support up to £1,500 or £2,000 per year (depending on the salary basis of the apprenticeship) and the Collections Trust is keen to add value to this by networking culture-sector employers and supporting the sharing of insights and experiences.

The deadline for expressions of interest in joining the Collections Trust’s consortium is Friday 29th August and we encourage interested parties to make contact with us before then to discuss your ideas and interest.

Find out more about the Collections Trust's call for partners.


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