A young woman with a headscarf seated on the steps of Leeds Town Hall
We seek to encourage more diversity in people interacting with heritage and in the heritage workforce © Historic England, Alun Bull, image reference DP174187
We seek to encourage more diversity in people interacting with heritage and in the heritage workforce © Historic England, Alun Bull, image reference DP174187

Heritage Training Placements

Heritage Training Placement Scheme Postponed

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are unable to run the placement scheme in 2021.

We know that the heritage workforce does not reflect the diversity of society. In 2018–2019 only 5% of the Historic England workforce described their ethnicity as Black, Asian or minority ethnic, set against the UK average of 14% (according to the 2011 census).

Each summer we run a scheme to help to improve this by offering training placements to people with Black, Asian or minority ethnic heritage – one of the sectors most under-represented in the heritage workforce.

One of the best placement schemes we’ve taken part in.

Participating organisation in 2019

Since 2014, Historic England has placed up to 30 BAME applicants each summer in training opportunities across the UK within a number of heritage organisations and charities equally committed to diversifying the heritage sector. Together, we are taking positive action by providing training opportunities of up to eight weeks to tackle under-representation in the heritage workforce in line with the legislation of the Equality Act 2010. We’d like you to join us in this and offer to host a placement in your organisation in summer 2020. Your involvement will make a difference.

Organisations who have hosted placements on this scheme in the past have valued the diversity of thought and ideas brought into their teams, said that it challenged their own thinking, and found it a brilliant way to give line management experience to their own staff.

Several participants in the scheme have gone on to develop careers in the heritage sector in organisations like Historic England, the Heritage Alliance, the conservation team in Cambridge City Council, and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. Many have altered their career path and taken courses in conservation or information management to further their ambitions for a career in the heritage sector.

Your placement could be involved in an interesting project in any part of your organisation such as digital marketing, collections care, customer service or conservation for example. The most important thing is that you are providing an opportunity for your placement to learn and experience the great work in your organisation and spark an interest in a career in the sector.

It’s important to understand that these are not jobs but short-term (eight-week) placements which provide training opportunities across a variety of roles in the heritage sector. Participants will not receive a salary or wage but a training bursary to cover living expenses. Bursaries are £300–£350 per week (depending on location) and are paid by the host organisation.

Background information

Positive action is one of the government’s range of measures aimed at ending discrimination in the workplace under the Equality Act 2010 (Section 158). It enables employers to use training programmes to address under-representation of particular groups. In March 2016 the government published the Culture White Paper and challenged Historic England and other nationally funded cultural organisations to develop and share strategies for improving workforce diversity. This scheme is part of our workforce diversity strategy and is in its fifth year. The placements programme is managed and coordinated by Historic England but placements are hosted by a range of heritage sector organisations.

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