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Programming and Activites


Museums Galleries Scotland strives to increase the skills of the sector’s workforce and address barriers to accessible training through a programme of inclusive, tailored and accredited activitiesThe Workforce Development Programme provides a range of skills development opportunities for staff and volunteers within the sector. The team provide monthly skills updates and you can read about our progress in March by clicking here.

Workforce Development is one of our four priority areas of strategic focus for our current business plan between 2020 and 2022. We will be undertaking several actions to support the sector in the next three years that help further the aims of Going Further: The National Strategy for Scotland’s Museums and Galleries.  

MGS Skills Academy

We deliver both formal and vocational, skills-based courses through ourMGS Skills Academy. These are facilitated by MGS andpartner organisations, as well as signposting to opportunities that are relevant to museum professionals and volunteers.

MGS Skills Academy Programme

MGS Knowledge Exchange

The MGS Knowledge Exchange helps museum professionals and volunteers to share their expertise though peer to peer learning and support. Covering a variety of areas relevant to museums in Scotland, these online events are held regularly and encourage participants to develop a strong network with those also working and volunteering in the museum sector.  

View the latest events

Skills for Success Legacy

Skills for Success, part of the National Lottery Heritage Fund Skills for the Future programme, built on the capacity of the sector to deliver accredited vocational qualifications by creating an MGS assessment centre and training sector professionals as assessors and internal verifiers. These assessors and verifiers will help deliver vocational qualifications for the benefit of the sector now the project is completed. 

The Skills for Success Legacy programme involves training four former Skills For Success learners who are currently working in the sector to be Workplace Assessors 

Board Development Programme

MGS partnered with Social Enterprise Academy to jointly fund and develop a long term board development programme for independent museums across Scotland. The 18 month programme provides support to museum board members in their own venues over a longer period of time, maximising impact to the individual museums and the sector.  

By the end of the programme the participating boards will be more aware of governance good practice and the opportunities available to support this. Participants will also be more robust, resilient and have greater confidence about their future.  

Business Support Programme

The NLHF funded Business Support Programme, 'Surviving to Thriving: Supporting Sustainable Scottish Heritage Businesses',(StT) has been developed by Museums Galleries Scotland, Built Environment Forum Scotland, and greenspace Scotland to support major investment in building the resilience of the heritage sector.

Sector feedback highlighted the immediate need for support and strategic investment to help heritage organisations to develop sustainable business models, improve their ways of working, and evidence the impact of their role within Scotland’s communities.

The partnership will deliver an 18-month project that will commence early 2021, will provide Scotland’s heritage organisations and businesses with support through a programme of training that will build sustainability with immediate and long-term impacts on their organisations and the sector as a whole. Leadership is the overarching theme of the programme and there are four main areas of training in the programme, which have been identified through sector feedback: board development, community engagement, financial planning, and business resilience.

The programme has committed to support up to forty organisations and upskill up to eighty people within the sector. Each attendee will be paid a bursary and travel costs to attend the programme. The programme will be delivered in line with COVID-19 guidance.

Programme details

Forum Connections: Building Capacity for Scotland's Museums Forums

Forum Connections is a 4-year, NLHF-funded project designed to build the capacity of Scotland’s museums for partnership working through investment in Scotland’s geographic forums. Commencing in 2020, Forum Connections will offer training courses and facilitated support in key areas of need— including forward planning, fundraising, relationship building, and evaluating projects— and will upskill key staff and Forum leads. Additional support will be offered for collaborative project development, funding applications, and audience development initiatives. 

Kickstart Scheme

The Kickstart Scheme is a UK Government funded scheme that provides funding to create new job placements for 16-24 year olds who are on Universal Credit and at risk of long term unemployment.

MGS sees this as a call to action for all employers to support youth employability in these challenging times. It is up to all of us to support the future workforce and give them the opportunity to get high quality work experience and build their employability skills.

MGS has been approved as a Kickstart Gateway for the sector and we are currently progressing with Kickstart opportunities. As a Living Wage employer we are topping up each Kickstart opportunity to the Real Living Wage.

If you are interested to know more please get in touch with Markus Offer, Skills Development Manager,, 0131 550 4143

Steps to Sustainability – Building a Sustainable Heritage Sector

The Social Enterprise Academy new National Lottery Heritage Fund project - Steps to Sustainability is an opportunity that will provide a pathway for 60 heritage organisations across the UK to be ambitious, forward thinking and deliver exciting new projects.

Participants will bring a business idea to the programme which they will develop throughout the duration of the programme before unlocking funding of up to £10,000.

Key Dates and information

  • Round 1- delivery online - applications closed 21st December
  • Round 2 – delivery online – applications reopen 2021
    • 5 programmes in Round 2 starting early May 2021. They are inviting applications from Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, East England, London & South East, South West England.
    • In line with the recent UK Government updates, the programme schedule is being reviewed and Round 2 is likely to start later than planned in 2021 to allow heritage organisations necessary time to prepare for, test and manage reopening of services.

Full programme details can be found at the Social Enterprise Academy website or email

Flexible Workforce Development Fund

The Flexible Workforce Development Fund is now open for applications from organisations with fewer than 250 employees. Eligible employers will be able to access up to £5,000 of funding.

Launched by the Scottish Government in 2017, Museums Galleries Scotland has partnered with the City of Glasgow College to bring this opportunity to the museums and galleries sector.

The aim of the fund is to provide eligible employers with workforce development training to up-skill and re-skill their existing workforce. This training will enable employers to address skills gaps within their workforce and allow them to become more productive and efficient, as well as helping with post-COVID recovery.

Key Facts about the fund 2020/21:

  • Employers with fewer than 250 employees are eligible to apply for up to £5,000 of training.
  • Applications are now open until 31st July 2021.
  • Funding is limited and will be issued on a first come first served basis, across all sectors, so we would advise applying as soon as possible.
  • High quality training programmes will be developed and delivered by the City of Glasgow College aimed specifically at the needs of the museum sector.
  • Training programmes must commence by 31st August 2021 and be completed by 31st March 2022.


Get in touch

To help explore your training needs, and/or get help with your application contact Hugh Griffin, Business Manager, at the City of Glasgow College

Or feel free to contact John Campbell, Senior Skills Development Manager at MGS, to find out more about the fund

You can also find out more about by the fund by visiting the website: