Working Wonders

An action plan for the museum workforce
The climate in which museums operate is changing on an unprecedented scale. The sector is experiencing long-term budget cuts and a culture change to reduce reliance on public funding, combined with a growing need to value and demonstrate the public impact of museums.

The pace and scale of this change must be appreciated by everyone working in the sector, so that museums can reassess their position, their role and their future. Armed with a fresh vision, museums need to invest in the people that make up their workforce so that they are flexible and adaptable; able to implement necessary change.

Working Wonders brings together recommendations made in the Cultural Heritage Blueprint Update 2012, with the results of a sector wide consultation on workforce development in 2012-13 and emerging thinking from initiatives such as the MA’s Museums 2020 campaign.

In doing so, the plan sets workforce development in a strategic context for funders and organisations that are negotiating the scale of change currently facing the sector. It sets out activities that different sector bodies and groups have committed to on behalf of the sector, some of which draw out common issues and potential for future working alongside other areas of arts and heritage.

Finally, it highlights emerging good practice from different organisations and groups, especially where the sector can learn from examples in other parts of the UK.

The action plan was put together by a steering group drawn from the UK museum sector and chaired by Iain Watson, director of Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums.


Working Wonders: an action plan for the museum workforce (pdf)

Working Wonders: executive summary (pdf)

Cultural Heritage Blueprint 2012 (pdf)

Cultural Heritage Blueprint: executive summary (pdf)


A number of contributors have given their opinions on aspects of the action plan. Please see the links below for:

This work is supported by Arts Council England.