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A note on Icon's internships with the National Trust

Earlier this month, the Guardian reported that the National Trust has used a number of unpaid interns. Icon would like to emphasise that the National Trust works closely with us to provide internships for conservators and heritage scientists with a bursary to cover living costs and support relevant training.

Since 2006, Icon’s Internship Programme has organised over paid 140 internships in line with Icon's Professional Standards. The Programme, initially funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and now supported by a wide range of generous funders, allows host organisations to focus on the delivery of training conservation while Icon provides an infrastructure of support.

Past interns have benefited from placements at a range of organisations including Victoria & Albert Museum and Historic Royal Palaces, supported by Icon during the term of the internship and through subsequent recruitment.

With a high retention rate of 98% across the Programme as a whole, we now have a generation of conservators embedded in the profession who are heading towards accreditation themselves and taking on their own interns.

Icon believes that bursary based internships are intrinsic in improving diversity within the fields of conservation and restoration. We are continuing to expand the Icon Internship Programme with aims to:

  • Improve the quality of skills available to the heritage sector by providing new entrants or existing staff with work-based training opportunities
  • Develop innovative, exemplar training schemes which promote diversity in the workforce
  • Enable heritage organisations to work in partnership with other agencies
  • Disseminate good practice

We still have a long list of employers wishing to take on an intern in the future and Icon is set up and ready to help them find the funding to do so.

Learn more about the Icon Internship Programme

​Image: Icon Intern; Matt Wreford


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