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Programming and Activities


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 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 and partner organisations, as well as signposting to opportunities that are relevant to museum professionals and volunteers.

MGS Skills Academy Programme

Modern Apprenticeships

A Modern Apprenticeship is a job which lets people earn a wage and gain an industry-recognised qualification. This opportunity is open to new and existing employees between the ages of 16 to 29 years old and they are a fantastic way to upskill and develop your workforce. The cost of undertaking a Modern Apprenticeships is fully funded.

MGS is approved to deliver both the Digital Marketing MA and Museums & Galleries Technician MA.

Modern Apprenticeships details


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

View recorded MGS Knowledge Exchanges

Business Support Programme

The NLHF-funded 'Surviving to Thriving' Business Support Programme 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 has delivered an 18-month project that commenced early 2021 and was renewed for a further 12 months commencing in early 2023, thanks to continued support and additional funding from NLHF. This 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 already supported forty organisations in 2021-22, upskilling over 120 sector leaders, and is committed to supporting a further twenty organisations in 2023. Each organisation receives a bursary to allow full participation in the training. The programme will be delivered online 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. 

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.  

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. Read more about the programme and it's evaluation here

Kickstart Scheme

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

MGS saw this as a call to action for all employers to support youth employability in 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.

We supported 48 Kickstart jobs in the sector and topped up all placements to Real Living Wage, while providing tailored 121 employability support to those on the scheme, if they chose to take part in this

The final participants on the scheme completed in September 22.

Kickstart Scheme Evaluation (PDF, 638KB)


Participant experiences of the Kickstart Scheme