Collections and Interpretations Trainee with Orkney Museum

Location: Orkney 

The Museum
The Arts, Museums and Heritage Service at Orkney Islands Council manages four museums on behalf of the people of Orkney (Orkney Museum, Corrigall Farm Museum, Kirbuster Museum and Scapa Flow Visitor Centre & Museum), alongside management of St Magnus Cathedral, several unstaffed sites (including Ness Battery and Rousay Heritage Centre) and many monuments across the islands. They also support the arts and heritage sectors through arts development and heritage development functions, and mange the cultural funding, which is disbursed by the Council to independent organisations on an annual basis. They also support two independently run Accredited museums: the Pier Arts Centre and Stromness Museum.

Orkney Museum is the main county museum for Orkney, covering Orkney’s story from prehistoric to the present day. Galleries voice the Neolithic, Iron Age, Picts and Vikings through to the Merchant Lairs to the 19th and 20th centuries and house an important collection of fine art including works by Stanley Cursiter and other Orkney artists.

The Role
The Collections and Interpretation Trainee will contribute to a range of tasks at the museum developing skills in museum curatorship, including collections care and management, documentation and ethics.

The trainee will have the opportunity to gain experience in Archive cataloguing and digital systems through close working relationships with the Orkney Library and Archive. The trainee will also gain experience in working with the museum’s own information management system. They will learn how to navigate digital catalogue systems and also paper-based entry systems, Accession registers and card index catalogues.

The trainee will gain experience of working within a larger local authority setting and will experience this at a time when the Council is undertaking a major project called the Change Programme which has the aim of looking creatively at improving services as well as making efficiencies, therefore gaining a very useful insight into the complexities of working within a public local authority.

The Details
The trainee will be part of the Curatorial team and will be based at the Orkney Museum but learning opportunities will be available across the other museum sites, including those in the independent sector, giving the trainee the opportunity to develop a good understanding of the various structures of governance within the wider sector. They will work alongside the Curators and Exhibition Officer. The trainee will have their own computer and workstation and will share an office with the Archaeology Project Officer.

The museum is in short walking distance from the main Council Offices and Orkney College, where elements of the induction and training will take place.

Some weekend and evening work will be required to cover events outwith normal office hours.

Two traineeships are available at Orkney Museum.

The Modules

As part of the SVQ Level 3 in Museums Practice all traineeships will cover mandatory units in background and workplace skills which will focus on:
• CCSCCS30: Understanding the sector in which you work and the wider creative and cultural context
• CCSCCS32: Taking responsibility for your work in a creative and cultural organisation and self-evaluation
• CCSCCS33: Planning and implementing your professional development in the creative and cultural industries
• CCSCV9: Cataloguing objects and collections within a cultural venue
• CCSCV15: Contributing to the care of items within a cultural venue

Within the Collections and Interpretation Traineeship with Orkney Museum you will also have the opportunity to complete 4 of the following modules: (Trainees must complete 2 from their chosen stream plus an additional 2 from any other stream or optional modules)

Learning and Engagement
• CCSCV17 / CCSCCS71: Supporting the organisation of events and exhibitions / Delivering an event or programme of events for learning and interpretation for a creative and cultural organisation

Collections and Interpretation
• CCDCCD72: Delivering interpretation for exhibitions or displays for a creative or cultural organisation
• CCDCH54: Providing specific information on a collection for a cultural heritage organisation
• CCDCH56: Contributing to the design of exhibitions and displays in a cultural heritage organisation
• CCDCH57: Contributing to the build of exhibitions and displays in a cultural heritage organisation

Digital Skills
• CCSCCS19: Developing and maintaining information systems for a creative and cultural organisation

Volunteer Management
No available modules

Optional Modules
• CCSCCS1: Providing effective customer service
• CCSCCS80: Assisting with marketing for a creative and cultural organisation
• CCSCV7: Contributing to the care of the premises


Closing date for applications is midnight on Monday 24 November.

Interviews will take place at the hosting organisations during the week of 10-17 December, 2014.

In order to apply for an MGS traineeship you must be able to demonstrate that you have a right to work legally in the UK and that you have not already studied at graduate level.