Ten new internships created at Scotland’s new conservation centre

HES director of conservation Professor David Mitchell, Deputy First Minister John Swinney and HES chief executive Alex Paterson examine the interactive map display at the Engine Shed
HES director of conservation Professor David Mitchell, Deputy First Minister John Swinney and HES chief executive Alex Paterson examine the interactive map display at the Engine Shed

Deputy First Minister and cabinet secretary for education and skills, John Swinney, welcomed the announcement of ten new internship opportunities with Historic Environment Scotland (HES) as he toured the Engine Shed, Scotland’s new national conservation centre in Stirling.

Each of the ten internships will last at least 12 months, with students based across Stirling, Edinburgh and Fort George. Opportunities are available in a wide variety of conservation areas, including climate change science, conservation science and technical aspects of traditional construction materials.

Mr Swinney said: “The Engine Shed is a great achievement for Historic Environment Scotland in this, our Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, and presents a huge opportunity for growth in skills across the built heritage sector.

“I very much welcome the creation of these internships which will ensure the skills required to look after our wonderful built heritage continue to thrive and am pleased to hear about the education outreach work being done by the centre.

“This is a great chance to engage children and young people with Scotland’s historic environment and inspire them to consider careers in the sector.”

The Engine Shed, which received £3 million in funding support from the Scottish Government, serves as a base for HES’ building conservation research and education teams, using world-leading innovation to bring Scotland’s built heritage to life through technology and hands-on activities. It was opened in July, welcoming more than 6,000 people in its first six weeks, and seeing children, young people and adults engage in activities relating to stone, stained glass and other traditional materials.

The £11m learning and visitor resource provides education support for learners from primary school to post-graduate level, and facilitates the sharing of HES’ world class expertise with national and international partners.

Historic Environment Scotland’s director of conservation, Professor David Mitchell, said: “As a place for research and learning, we thought it was fitting this year to offer a range of various internships at the Engine Shed, where students can make use of the state-of-the-art resources and pioneering technology housed here. Education is at the core of our internship programme and participants will be mentored by our staff to gain the most from the experience. They will have unique access to some of Scotland’s most treasured places and specialist training at the Engine Shed in its first year of operation.

“We have a long tradition of providing internships in areas of building conservation. The support we get from our partners in facilitating these internships reflects the willingness of our sector to invest in the next generation. These are valuable opportunities for education and learning for early career professionals and we have seen former interns move on to higher education, build successful careers or start their own businesses, which enhances capacity and expertise in the heritage sector.”

As part of the internship programme each successful candidate will have an appointed mentor and host, who will develop a customized learning and training plan for them, which will include access to relevant training courses at the Engine Shed.

Former climate change intern David Harkin said: “My internship with HES allowed me to develop my interest in considering the impacts of a changing climate on Scotland’s historic places. The learning experience and my personal development has allowed me to pursue this specialism as a career.”

People who are interested in applying for an internship, should email a CV and personal statement explaining which internship they are interested in and why they wish to be considered to TraditionalSkills@hes.scot by 12 noon October 20.

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