History Festival to stage jobs fair

A job as a tourist guide is just one among many career options. Picture: Scott Louden
A job as a tourist guide is just one among many career options. Picture: Scott Louden
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WOULD-BE tapestry weavers, stonemasons and make-up artists for period TV dramas such as Outlander will all be hunted at Scotland’s first-ever historic job fair.

Some of the tourism industry’s biggest players, including Historic Scotland and the Scottish Tourist Guides Association, will be on hand to show school students, undergraduates and potential job-changers what it’s like to pursue a career in heritage.

The one-off event, thought to be the first of its kind, is part of Scotland’s History Festival – an annual event that brings together academics of all ages to discuss, debate and interact with the country’s tumultuous past.

Festival director and Evening News columnist Susan Morrison said the jobs fair had been introduced to shine a spotlight on the kind of work required to protect the nation’s heritage. “I don’t think people realise just how many fascinating careers there are in the field,” she said.

“Everything from stone masonry to ticket-taking at Edinburgh Castle will be represented at the fair.

“But even things like the costume and make-up design for TV shows like Outlander all fall under the same category.

“When you’re working on a period drama, you can’t have a woman walking into an 18th century salon looking like she’s been on a night out in the city centre.

“You need historians on hand to make sure everything looks and feels authentic.”

Archivists, a role common in solicitors’ firms and media outlets, are also being sought, as are caterers, tour guides and restoration workers.

“As far as I know, there’s never been a fair like this in Scotland,” Ms Morrison said.

“But we need to remind people that these careers are out there, and that the potential field is far wider than they think.”

Richard Love, chairman of Broughton History Society, said events such as the job fair were essential to the survival of vital skills.

“It can be incredibly difficult in Scotland to encourage people to take up an interest in learning a trade,” he said. “But it’s hugely important that events such as this are run so that old skills sets can be preserved for future generations.”

This year’s festival, “Previously . . .”, kicks off on November 13 to coincide with Robert Louis Stevenson Day.

The job fair will take place on November 18, starting at 10am in Adam House on Chambers Street. Other events include a street ceilidh with Eddi Reader in St Andrews.