What are the key learning needs of heritage professionals in Europe?

The European Cultural Heritage Skills Alliance CHARTER, funded by Erasmus+, released a report highlighting the mismatch between heritage sector education/training and job market needs. It focuses on enhancing heritage workers' continuous development, featuring exemplary practices. The report calls for improved skills in technology, sustainability, among others, urging a holistic approach to heritage as a societal asset.

Faro museum

The European Cultural Heritage Skills Alliance CHARTER, an Erasmus+ funded project, has published a new report: Forecast to fill gaps between education and training supply and labour market needs.

The central question in this report is: ‘How can we improve the personal development of heritage workers during their careers?’ Based on in-depth interviews, focus groups and document analysis, the report outlines possible paths for the future. Fourteen good practices illustrate what is possible. And we are very proud that the Flemish institution for cultural heritage (FARO), was chosen by colleagues as a good example, together with the Flemish Scholarships for Craftsmanship

Knowledge and skills in demand

The analysis shows that there are a lack of competences in the field. More specifically, there is work to be done in the following areas:

  • Technology
  • Sustainable development
  • Professional collaboration
  • Public administration
  • Diversity
  • Funding
  • Social uses
  • Knowledge transfer
  • Occupation coding and skills description

The common thread here is that we need to see heritage more as an ecosystem. It is important for the sector to be able to position heritage even better as a social, future-oriented source. We are not a niche or an island, but a motor in the broader transition process, and we should play that vector role more often.

We will be learning for a long time!

As for the training of future heritage professionals, the report notes a gap between theory and practice. Theoretical academic approaches are certainly important, but there is a lack of practice-oriented heritage education in Europe. Curious about the state of affairs? Check out the CHARTER database on cultural heritage education programmes in Europe.

Moreover, learning and development does not stop when you leave school. This report therefore argues for the recognition of non-formal and informal learning methods. These offer greater flexibility in terms of time, place and learning approaches, compared to formal education and training. Three models of non-formal learning are recommended: communities of practice, virtuous learning circles and professional learning networks. If such networks were also to be established at European level, this could lead to a major learning gain for heritage workers.

On to the final recommendations

The CHARTER team is now working on a series of concrete recommendations for Europe. We will keep you informed via the blog.

Read more?

You can find the full report in the Results section of the CHARTER website.

Translated from an original blogpost by Jacqueline van Leeuwen, Coordinator of Training and Advice OF FARO.BEImage: CHARTER

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