Skills for the Future programme open for business

Skills for the Future programme open for business

The Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF) Skills for the Future programme is open to applicants¹ as of today (Wednesday 2 December).  This new £5million grant programme will deliver up to 1,000 paid training opportunities for people across the UK seeking a career in heritage.  It will not only support traditional conservation training but also a wide variety of skills needed to engage people with heritage and utilise new media and technology. 

Dame Jenny Abramsky, Chair of the HLF, said:

“More than ever in these difficult times, HLF wants to focus on offering people skills that will give them a future career and at the same time meet the needs of the sector. I believe passionately that heritage can play a significant part in the UK’s economic recovery.

“This £5million commitment will ensure our heritage is protected for the future and represents a hugely exciting chance to attract people who might not usually consider a career in the heritage sector.”

Skills for the Future will help equip organisations to engage with the widest possible range of people and inspire them to get involved with heritage.  Its focus is on vocational learning.  It will train people in how to best work with families, schools, young people and communities and teach the skills needed to use new technology to bring heritage sites and collections alive for new audiences.  Skills for the Future will also help meet the skills gaps identified by heritage conservation bodies.

Organisations will be able to apply for funding – from £100,000 to £1million - for a number of traineeships over a period of up to five years with an emphasis on high-quality work-based training.  There is only one opportunity to apply and the closing date is 19 March 2010 with awards being made in May 2010. 

Skills for the Future is complementary to HLF’s Training Bursary Programme which is already delivering a wide range of skills training - including blacksmithing, botanic gardening, stone masonry, gold leafing and thatching.  HLF recently announced that it was helping seven projects² under the programme with an additional £2.85m investment for placements that will provide accredited work-based training with highly-skilled crafts people and environmental specialists. 

Find out how to apply.

Notes to Editors

The seven projects are:

  • The Historic and Botanic Gardens Scheme, a partnership of 17 heritage organisations led by English Heritage, has been awarded £338,000 to create 34 practical placements in horticulture.   
  • The Institute of Archaeologists has been awarded £355,000 for 20 archaeology placements across the UK. 
  • ICON (The Institute of Conservation) has been awarded £490,000 for 20 bursary placements in the conservation of objects and collections - from books and textiles to metalwork and ceramics.
  • The Traditional Building Skills for England and Wales Scheme, run by English Heritage and the National Trust, has been awarded £500,000 for 56 placements.
  • The Masonry Conservation in Scotland and Northern Ireland Project, run by Historic Scotland, has been awarded £436,800 for 14 year-long and 50 short-term bursary placements. 
  • The Natural Talent Project, run by the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV), has been awarded £389,100 to offer training for 12 new apprentices to develop skills in the conservation of specialist habitats and species.
  • The LEMUR Scheme, run by Herefordshire Nature Trust, has been awarded £331,600 to help 18 trainees learn natural heritage conservation skills.

Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment, skills and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage.  HLF has supported more than 28,800 projects, allocating over £4.3billion across the UK. 

For further information
Please contact Katie Owen or Ali Scott, HLF Press Office, on tel: (020) 7591 6036/6032 Out of office hours mobile: 07973 613820.