Historic England Heritage Training Placements

Information for historic environment sector organisations interested in participating in our scheme to increase workforce diversity in the sector.


In 2017-2018 only 4.4% of the Historic England work force described their ethnicity as Black Asian of Minority Ethnic (BAME). This is set against the UK average of 14% BAME according to the 2011 census.

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.

In response Historic England developed a Workforce Diversity strategy which has several associated strands of activity but one of the most significant is a new paid Heritage Training Placements scheme for undergraduates and recent graduates with Black, Asian or other Minority Ethnic Heritage.

In 2016 we began the scheme with 4 placements in London. In 2017 this was expanded to 12 placements across our offices in London, Birmingham, Manchester, York and Bristol. Last year we invited other organisations to join the scheme and offered 20 placements across the country.

Heritage Training Placements 2019

  • Placements should last for c.8 weeks. (They can be shorter but 8 weeks will give the student a chance to learn about the organisation and complete a project. They should not be extended beyond this period).
  • Placements are full-time. There may be occasional exceptions to this but they should be planned as if they are full-time.
  • Placement students are awarded a bursary of £300 p.w. or £350 p.w. in London. This comes from your own budgets. The placements can also receive travel and subsistence payments and out of pocket expenses.
  • It is important to understand that the placements are not jobs. Students do not receive a salary or wage but a bursary to cover their living expenses.
  • Positive action is one of the Government’s range of measures aimed at ending discrimination in the workplace under the Equality Act 2010 (Sections 158 & 159). It enables employers to use training programmes to address under-representation of particular groups in their organisations. This is a helpful guide if you want to know more about the background: https://www.inclusiveemployers.co.uk/sites/default/files/documents/inclusive_employers_positive_action_guide.pdf
  • The placements must include a clearly articulated training element. This can be accompanying staff to meetings, taking part in site visits, shadowing etc. But training objectives will need to be signalled in advance on the placement profile and agreed with the student at the start of the placement.
  • Students should be given a defined project to complete during their placements.
  • We will be evaluating the scheme and will host a meeting/event for all participants (likely to be in September).
  • Last year there was some negative media coverage from the right wing press who wrongly and deliberately mis-interpreted the scheme as providing jobs for people of colour only and ignored the legitimate legal context for positive action in training. If this happens again please be assured that we have a media management plan in place ahead of the placements being advertised.

Please complete and return the Expression of Interest form (link below) if you are interested in providing a placement in summer 2019.

Please note these are paid placements and, as an employer, you are required to cover the bursary cost.

Please submit your Expression of Interest form by 29 March 2019.

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