The MA's museum development officer Charlotte Holmes will lead the programme

MA awarded £94,000 for career development scheme

Geraldine Kendall, 05.03.2014
Fund will help rising professionals learn sustainable practice
The Museums Association (MA) has been awarded a grant of £94,000 by Arts Council England (ACE) to set up a one-year pilot programme that aims to equip mid-career museum professionals with the skills they need in the changing economic and social environment of the sector.

The grant from the Renaissance strategic support fund will allow the MA to provide 16 places for mid-career professionals in England on the programme.

Participants will learn new approaches to working that will enable them to instigate wider organisational change in order to make their museums more sustainable and innovative in difficult times.

They will be able to identify an area that they want to change within their organisation and learn how to do so through a programme of seminars, workshops and developmental activities, supported by a project coach.

The programme will receive input from a thinktank of professionals from a variety of different fields, including science, communications, journalism and social enterprise, who have a track record of leading value-based change in their sectors.

The MA hopes the scheme will act as a model for a new development approach to diversifying the workforce across the wider museum sector.

The MA’s museum development officer, Charlotte Holmes, said: “It’s great that we’ve received this funding and we are very grateful to the arts council for supporting the programme.

"It will be a unique opportunity to learn from people outside the sector and think about how we as professionals and organisations need to change our practice to respond to the changing environment in which we operate.”

MA director Mark Taylor said: “It is great news that the museum agencies in the UK share our vision and recognise that we need to begin developing new skills and ways of working to deal with the very different challenges museums are now facing. 

“For us, this links with Museums Change Lives and our Working Wonders action plan that identified the need and priorities of the ‘new’ museum workforce.”

The MA is currently in discussion with other funding bodies to extend the programme to professionals throughout the UK.

The scheme is likely to be launched in early April. Further details will be released in due course.