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Young people explore employment through the ages in new exhibition

Times Change: Youth Work Through History opened today at Dumfries Museum today (28 September) as part of Children in Scotland’s Living Museums participation project, which aims to make museums more accessible to young people and more reflective of their experiences.

Funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) and with support from Historic Environment Scotland, the Living Museums project has been working with young people in Dumfries and Galloway, Stirling and Perth to identify how the museum sector can appeal to and engage young people aged 14-21.

The Times Change exhibition is the result of project work over the last year and explores how young people feel about youth employment and unemployment, both historically and throughout the pandemic.

A survey conducted by the project group captured the thoughts of other young people in Dumfries and Galloway on the topic, and a new animation and a series of designed images will be shared as part of the launch to communicate the findings.

Specially selected objects around the museum have been plotted on a newly prepared map of Dumfries Museum for audiences visiting the exhibition to explore.

Living Museums Project Officer, Millie Smith, said: “Through this exhibition, Dumfries Museum is showcasing a wide variety of objects and artefacts to show this journey through time. We hope that it helps audiences think about the role employment plays in young peoples’ lives – especially now, in the wake of the pandemic.

“The young people we’ve worked with have done a fantastic job bringing this topic to life and partnering Dumfries Museum to produce an exhibition that’s relevant, provocative and true to the Living Museums project’s aims of making museums more engaging for younger audiences.”

Councillor Andy Ferguson, Chair of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Communities Committee, said: “The young people involved with this project have chosen a brilliant selection of objects that are part of the permanent display at Dumfries Museum. Their interpretation of historic items related to youth employment is thought-provoking and I’m looking forward to seeing the animation produced to support their research.”

The young people involved spoke highly about their involvement with the project, including the process and the project as a whole.

Felicity, a young member of the project group, said: “Working on the project was fun and it was awesome to meet people who had the same interests as me but also finding an important issue and bringing it up.”

Kirsty, another member of the group, commented: “During this project I have enjoyed being part of the team, working alongside Children in Scotland and making new friends. I look forward to our meetings and discussions because they make the process fun and exciting.”

Times Change: Youth Work Through History launches today, Tuesday 28 September, and runs until Saturday 30 October.

Young people shaping culture and heritage

Find out more about the Living Museums project

Click here for the project page

Living Museums video

Find out more about the project and its aims in this short film

Click here to view

Blog: Creating accessible spaces

Group members Bronwyn and Isaac explain how museums could be more welcoming

Click here to read the blog

Blog: Unlocking opportunities

Group member Jodie discusses youth employment in the heritage sector

Click here to read the blog

Dumfries Museum

Find out more about the hosts of our latest exhibition

Visit the Museum website