16 trainees from the African/Caribbean and Ethnic Minority Communities will benefit from the EMCMBEHP in three years. The trainee will develop Cultural Heritage, Transferable and Relevant Business skills as well as gaining accreditations and qualifications overseen by the Scottish Qualification Authority.
As stated on its website, “the project aims to provide high-quality bursary funded practical training within both the Museum and Galleries and Built Historic Environment across Scotland.”
October, the Black History Month, was distinctly chosen for the launch of the Ethnic Minority Career Museum and Built Environment Heritage Programme as the event also celebrated African descents’ contribution to the UK society.
Opening the ceremony, Beltus Etchu, the CEO of NSI- which has designed the EMCMBEHP, revealed that they tested the programme in 2015 with four trainees. The “trainees successfully completed the pilot project and obtained their qualification in Museum & Galleries Practice with two jobs secured,” Mr Etchu said.
The EMCMBEHP is ongoing since February 2018 and foreseen to last until January 2021, and already, Christoph, one of the trainee is entirely satisfied. He now sees himself as “an ambassador to young African” as he encourages them to invest more in conservation’s heritage.
Christoph said to have gained skills and experience he would have never imagined: “even if I don’t get a job, I am sure I can transfer the skills I gained during this training somewhere in the future,” he said.
Representing Glasgow Life at the event, Martin Bellamy emphasised the relationship between his organisation and Africa. They have a collection that shows their connection with African countries and they have been working with African who helped in researching collections and interpreting them, he said.
The guests agreed there is definitely a place for African and Ethnic minority communities within the Museum and Built Environment Heritage sectors and they should have opportunities in all other fields of the Scottish society.
On that point, Professor John Struthers, Director of the Centre for African Research on Enterprise and Economic Development, said that “Numbers of African with PhD drive taxi; we, non-African have to address this problem.” Professor Struthers, who is Professor of Economics at the University of the West of Scotland also underlined the university’s support to the EMCMBEHP.
Mrs Unyimeobong Matthew, one of the project manager, pleased with the event said: “the African and Ethnic minority communities had been a bit slow to embrace this initiative, but with outreach events, publicity through social media and word of mouth testimonies from trainees and volunteers the engagement from them is now gaining momentum.“
Mostly dressed in African attire- the guests enjoyed the African lunch as well as singing and dancing together on “Nike Nike”; a Nigerian song meaning in Yoruba “encourage people to put more effort to lift up the Heritage,” one of the guests explained.
Browse on the Ethnic Minority Career Museum and Built Environment Heritage Programme to find out more about the project.