What are the gaps and needs for heritage professionals in Europe?

CHARTER Alliance maps major challenges and suggests improvement paths.

The European Cultural Heritage Skills Alliance CHARTER, Erasmus+ funded project, has published a new report under the title: “Forecast to fill gaps between education and training supply and labour market needs. A preliminary analysis”. The document aims to collect and summarise preliminary findings of all working groups to identify which improvements could enhance the virtuous learning circle, career development, and quality certification standards within the heritage sector. This report identifies gaps and needs that are perceived to affect the development of professional activities within the field of heritage and showcase examples that demonstrate possibilities for resolving some of these needs.

Following a qualitative approach, this publication includes inputs from CHARTER working meetings, consortium partners, document analysis, and interviews. A total of 59 proposals for good policy practices, coming from the affiliated CHARTER regions, were collected through aconsortium call, from which 14 were addressed following their effectiveness, efficiency, impact and scalability, transferability, and sustainability.

Drawing on the accumulated wealth of knowledge and findings CHARTER has produced so far, the report outlines various needs within the heritage sector, spanning technology, sustainable development, professional collaboration, public administration involvement, diversity, funding, social uses, knowledge transfer, occupation coding, and skills description. Regarding systemic requirements, CHARTER interviewed 16 experts, most of whom agreed on the presence of competences gaps in establishing and understating the nature of heritage per se as an ecosystem and how professionals can position it as a societal, future-oriented resource. Other concerns mentioned include the lack of practical oriented education, gapsbetween theory and practice, digitisation as both a gap and a challenge, interconnectedness of different heritage functions and neighbouring fields of economic and societal activities, among others.

Among the different conclusions and recommendations this report issues, the importance of recognising the value of non-formal and informal learning methods is highly stressed, due totheir flexibility in terms of time, location, and learning approaches, when compared to formal education and training. To address skills needs, this report recommends three models of non-formal learning: communities of practice, virtuous learning circles and professional learning networks. These would facilitate the exchange of knowledge, skills, experiences, anddiscussions, within the professional fields of heritage practice on a European level. This should be encouraged and principles for enabling quality certification standards should be met.

Continue reading the Full Report in the Results section of CHARTER’s website.

About CHARTER

CHARTER, the European Cultural Heritage Skills Alliance, brings together and represents the whole range of the cultural heritage sector in Europe. The 47 project partners strive towards making apparent the value of cultural heritage and creating a resilient and responsive sector.

CHARTER works towards creating a lasting, comprehensive strategy that will guarantee Europe has the necessary cultural heritage skills to support sustainable societies and economies.

The Erasmus+ funded project maps the current and future needs of the sector to bridge the gap of skills shortages and mismatches between the educational and occupational fields.

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