News & events > Report: What Does the Museum Workforce Need? | United Kingdom
28 Oct 2016

Report: What Does the Museum Workforce Need? | United Kingdom

character-matters A report entitled Character Matters: Attitudes, behaviours and skills in the UK Museum Workforce has recently been published by BOP Consulting and The Museum Consultancy, following a commission by Arts Council England, Museums Galleries Scotland, the Museums Association and the Association of Independent Museums. Character Matters addresses the attitudes, behaviours and skills needed in the UK museum workforce for the next 10 years. It aims to show where investment is most needed to best support the museums sector, and highlights areas of future development. Museums in the UK have undergone major change in the past 10 years, from reduced funding streams and the development of new business models, to changing approaches to audience engagement and participation. It is likely that the next 10 years will continue to see rapid change across the sector from how museums operate to how they engage with audiences. It is crucial that the museum sector is well prepared to adapt to and respond to these changes and pressures. The museum workforce will face a growing need to adapt and develop new skills, knowledge and ways of working in order to meet the needs of the organisations and audiences they serve. Key challenges identified by the research include the need to recruit a more diverse workforce, the development of the existing workforce in terms of "personal qualities" and the enhancement of organisations' flexibility and support for their workforce. On the basis of the findings and the challenges identified, 30 recommendations are formulated, including the following:
  • Recruiting and developing a more diverse and flexible workforce
  • Developing different approaches to learning and training, such as long term methods like mentoring
  • There needs to be a greater emphasis on combining specialist skills, like collections, with a range of others, like business, leadership and digital
  • Organisations should become more flexible, agile and entrepreneurial
  • Funders and sector support organisations must encourage applicants to demonstrate a commitment to diversifying and supporting their workforce
The full report of Character Matters is available at A summary report can be found at  
Source: Network of European Museum Organisations (NEMO)
Picture above: from BOP Consulting