Building a stronger workforce

Over the past 15 years, most museums have embraced diversity and equality, and actively tried to give everyone who wants it the opportunity to make a contribution to their work.

Now that museums are facing difficult times, the temptation may be to retreat to conventional ways of doing things. But embedding greater diversity in your working practices could help your museum survive and even prosper through the difficult times ahead.

This Museum Practice draws together edited extracts from the Museums Association's Culture Change, Dynamism and Diversity report, which sets out the ways in which museums can continue to reinvigorate and diversify the workforce, even when faced with shrinking resources.

The following articles and case studies cover approaches to workforce diversity, inclusive-working practices and unlocking the potential of volunteers, apprentices and front-of-house staff. You can also help document the different approaches by sharing your experiences and views in the Have Your Say section.

Working closer together

Different approaches to inclusive working and decision-making

Creating a diverse and equal workforce

The benefits of having a diverse range of staff are many but changing who works in museums is not enough if museums are to be truly diverse institutions

Volunteers, apprentices and front-of-house staff

Drawing on the talents of all in your museum

Case study: creative apprenticeships

Lincolnshire Heritage Service has found creative apprenticeships are a cost effective way to diversify the workforce and give people the opportunity to gain new skills and qualifications

Case study: front-of-house

Manchester City Galleries changed the role of its visitor services team, to bridge the gap between front-of-house and the rest of the museum

Case study: volunteers

Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery uses volunteers to offer object handling opportunities

Further resources: building a stronger workforce

A detailed list of further resources that can be updated and added to as new documents and information become available

Have your say on smarter working practices

What is your museum doing to help staff work better together and make the most of everyone's potential?

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Brighton 2011: MA Conference & Exhibition

Next Top Model, a theme at this year's Museums Association conference in Brighton, will explain smarter working for museums and provide training for inclusive working 

Culture Change

How to reinvigorate the workforce while faced with shrinking resources