CHARTER Alliance: Why is CHARTER important for the cultural heritage sector?

CHARTER Alliance: Why is CHARTER important for the cultural heritage sector?

A new and exciting chapter is beginning to unite and professionalise the European cultural heritage sector: CHARTER is officially and publicly starting its activity. The Erasmus+ funded project started back in January of 2021 and is now launching its communication platform not only to inform about the project’s progress, but to build an open dialogue with the people who are part of the cultural heritage ecosystem. Find in this article what you need to know about this ground-breaking new project.

Understanding the cultural heritage sector context

The economic impact of the cultural heritage sector and its professional profiles goes unnoticed due to lack of statistical descriptions and recognition. Consequently, the potential of the sector is not fully recognised and its ability to strengthen European cultural identities and social cohesion is severely hindered. There is a need to professionalise the CH sector to realise its full potential and ensure a sustainable sector.

The EU Culture and Creative Sectors (CCS) account for EUR 413 billion in terms of value added i.e. 5.5%. At the EU Member State level the CCS employ on average 6.2% of the workforce. Cultural heritage is part of the CCS, but very little statistical data supports the economic impact of the cultural heritage sector alone. We find that without statistical recognition, the sector is affected on all levels – from educational to professional.

Optimal qualitative education and training can only be achieved when the demand from the occupational market is known. Furthermore, the lack of classification and codification leaves cultural heritage recruitment and procurement without competency benchmarks. A structure for continuous professional development and lifelong learning is missing. Professional mobility is impacted since the full range of competences are not recognised. An ageing and poorly resourced work force are challenged by digitalisation, the increased use of technology and born-digital cultural heritage.

It is time to professionalise the sector to ensure current and future professionals have a strong, sustainable, and adaptable sector. The CHARTER Alliance will combine new gathered knowledge of sector specific competencies and skills with already existing findings and recommendation to streamline a new strategic approach to sectoral cooperation.

 

CHARTER addresses the needs and challenges of the cultural heritage sector

CHARTER Alliance will see to the entire European cultural heritage sector and the different levels found within it. By coming together, the sector as a whole will get stronger and more resilient.

The absence of classification and codification leaves cultural heritage recruitment and procurement without competency benchmarks. There is no structure for continuing professional development to aid lifelong learning, nor a system for identifying and addressing emerging skills gaps. Many professionals do not have their full range of competencies recognised, which hinders professional mobility. A recognised ‘age cliff’ and trend towards academisation of society is reducing entrant numbers to cultural heritage occupations. Digitisation, increased use of technology and born-digital cultural heritage are creating challenges for an ageing and poorly resourced sector.

By mapping education through formal, informal and lifelong learning pathways, systems of recognition, validation and accreditation for heritage skills will be created. The CHARTER Alliance will clarify roles and missions in respect of cultural heritage so that career pathways are visible for education and training providers to tailor and benchmark curriculum content and delivery methods.

Digitisation, 3D modelling, virtual and augmented reality complement the traditional skills essential to care for cultural heritage. In line with EU priority on advancing cooperation on digitising cultural heritage, the mapping of skills and creation of training modules will include core and transversal digitisation and digital preservation skills.

 

Check more information about the CHARTER Alliance in the About us section.

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