Well I suppose I had better tell you what this blog is all about.
I’m on the 2010 Renaissance North West funded Museology Professional Development Programme, and my personal project is to explore the theme of Museum workforce development. I feel really passionately about this subject as I entered the Museums profession via an odd route myself, stopping off in the housing, care and education sectors along the way. But that’s a story for later.
I have no Museum qualifications and I didn’t want to work in a Museum when I grew up – shock horror!! And yet I work in one. The majority of people that I encounter working in the same sector have at least an MA in a Museum related subject as well as their degree. Now, I’m not saying having gained that level of education is a bad thing, but should everyone who works in a Museum have or need those credentials? Do they need to be that specific? Who sets the standard, is it the employers, Universities or ourselves?
Who exactly is the ideal Museum professional and can they ever exist within our current set up?
Do our organisational structures and current views on professionalism get in the way of hiring people from outside of the sector who can bring fresh ideas to the table?
How realistic is it for a person succeeding in another sector to enter into the Museum workforce and transfer that success?
Which hurdle would they fall at? Lack of qualifications, experience, or the fact that they did not know where to look for the job advertisement?
Who decides what training is appropriate or necessary?
Is work experience measurable?
I know there are so many questions and that they would be easy to brush under the carpet in favour of dealing with the repercussions of the tough financial times we are all facing. I’m going to try and answer some myself but along the way I’m going to be video interviewing people working in the sector, students and policy makers to collect their thoughts and ideas about Workforce development.
I believe that if Museums are to survive they need the support of a diverse audience. I don’t believe you can truly have this without a diverse workforce.