Arts and heritage charity Culture& has updated its training programme for people from diverse backgrounds.
The New Museum School Advanced Programme has been developed in response to a survey of previous programme participants who highlighted barriers to their career progression. The survey found that people wanted more flexible professional development opportunities and specific support to access postgraduate qualifications.
Culture&’s New Museum School has trained 134 young people from diverse backgrounds over the past seven years, with 74% finding full-time employment in the sector within six months of graduating.
The 2021 New Museum School Advanced Programme is supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and is designed to help address a lack of workforce diversity in the sector, particularly among those from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds.
Culture& has developed the new model with academic partner the University of Leicester and with support from a range of sector organisations, including the Museums Association.
“The New Museum School Advanced Programme is aiming to be a step change in providing a new pipeline of diverse fresh talent for the UK heritage sector,” said Errol Francis, the CEO of Culture&.
“Having listened to the experience of our alumni, we want to address the glass ceiling that they now face and this flagship collaboration with the University of Leicester will be the engine to propel forward the careers of our most gifted graduates who will be the future leaders in the heritage sector.”
Richard Sandell, the co-director of the Research Centre for Museum and Galleries at the University of Leicester said: “Now, more than ever, our cultural organisations need to come together to combine experience, resources, energy and talent to commit to the work of building a sector in which talented individuals from diverse backgrounds can thrive and make change.”
Culture& was established in 1987 to open up the arts and heritage workforce, audiences and programmes through training, cross arts commissioning and audience development.
From 2013 to 2020 Culture&’s New Museum School programme provided 18 work-based training placements annually with a range of museums, galleries and arts organisations, including the National Trust, Southbank Centre, Royal Collection Trust, English Heritage and the British Library.