The Tomorrow People: Entry to the Museum Workforce

The Tomorrow People is a research report written by Museums Association deputy director Maurice Davies while he held a visiting fellowship at the University of East Anglia.

It draws on the experience of over 100 museum managers, job-seekers, university lecturers, policy makers and junior staff. It identifies several problems with the way museums recruit and develop entry-level staff.

The overall conclusion is that museums, and sector bodies, need to take far more responsibility for training and development of staff at entry-level and in their first few years in post.

In addition, university museum-studies courses need to take more responsibility for their overall impact on the museum workforce. This conclusion leads to six recommendations.

Recommendation 1

Museums should provide high-quality volunteering, work-experience and internships for a wide range of people interested in a museum career.

Recommendation 2

There should be a widening of entry routes with employers supporting more traineeships, apprenticeships and internal progression of staff.

Recommendation 3

Far greater efforts need to be made to diversify the museum workforce.

Recommendation 4

As well as considering the needs of individual students, museum-studies courses need to take greater, more strategic responsibility for their impact on the museum workforce as a whole. Increased cooperation between museums and courses would bring benefits for students, museums and universities.

Recommendation 5

There needs to be better training and development for new entrants, including those on short-term contracts.

Recommendation 6

The AMA could play a bigger role.

The report also includes the results of the first ever survey of university museum-studies courses and advice for individual job-seekers.

The research report and the appendices can be downloaded below.

The research was used by the MA to draw up an action plan that was published in 2008.

For more information about the action plan, click here

Downloads

Summary of The Tomorrow People: Entry to the museum workforce (pdf)

The Tomorrow People: Entry to the museum workforce - full report, excluding appendices (pdf)

Appendix 1 Museum-studies courses 2005/6: Report of a survey (pdf)

Appendix 2 Selected comments from individuals and employers (pdf)

Appendix 3 Advice to individuals (pdf)