Ipswich and Colchester museums were successful in the first bid for a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), which will go towards the ‘Transforming People to Transform Museums’ project.
The scheme will enable the two museums, alongside the Museum of East Anglian Life in Stowmarket, the Long Shop Museum in Leiston and Palace House in Newmarket to train eight trainees per year on 12 month placements over the course of three years.
A spokesman from Colchester and Ipswich museums said: “One of the aims of the project is to work towards ensuring that those that work in museums better reflect the diversity of their locality.
“It will create opportunities for local people to get their foot in the door of a career in museums, which may not be something they have considered”.
The second stage of the bid will be submitted before September, which if approved would allow the project to begin in January 2018.
Among the skills the trainees will learn are managing events, marketing, producing displays, managing budgets and identifying income opportunities.
The museums hope that by recruiting and training people from a broad range of backgrounds, the museums will increase the social impact they have in the community.
Carole Jones, Ipswich Borough Council’s portfolio holder for development and museums, said: “Our training programmes have been hugely successful at helping people to get their career started.
“This project will create more opportunities for local people to get on the jobs and skills ladder.”
The announcement came as part of a nationwide package of more than £10million earmarked for training projects by the HLF.
Richard Smith, Suffolk County Council cabinet member for finance and heritage added: “The cultural sector in Suffolk employs over 2,500 people and attracts over 370,000 visitors.
“It is right that the important contribution our museums make to the economic and social life of the county is recognised with this funding.
“It is a wonderful opportunity to bring in new ideas and fresh perspectives.”