The Workforce Development Conference is organised by RPM and funded by Arts Council England (ACE) under its Major Partner Museum programme. The conference announcement follows a new report published this week – The Character Matters: Attitudes, behaviours and skills in the UK Museum Workforce – commissioned by ACE, AIM, Museums Galleries Scotland and the Museums Association that investigates what is needed in the sector workforce over the next ten years.

RPM has been developing its own pioneering Workforce Development Programme since 2012, to build a skilled, engaged and entrepreneurial workforce by enabling frontline staff to work in departments and on projects across the organisation. Using this as a springboard for discussion, it now hosts a conference for colleagues across the sector especially frontline staff who are looking to develop their personal and professional skills.

The all-day event, co-organised and run by RPM’s own Workforce Development Programme participants, includes case studies, short presentations, tours, workshops and break-out sessions.

One of the talks by Sarah Gore, Teaching Museum Manager, Norfolk Museums Service will focus on how the museum is part of the service’s broader aim to support the development of a highly skilled and flexible workforce to meet the future needs of museums. Her presentation will discuss its origins, its structure and the value of in-house training and will also reflect on implementing the diversity brief.

The conference programme, which has now been announced, will include:

  • A keynote speech by John Orna-Ornstein, Director of Museums for Arts Council England
  • A presentation on cross-departmental working, by London Museum Development
  • A creative workshop on career pathways into the sector, led by Pallant House
  • A discussion on involving volunteers in the success of cultural organisations
  • A workshop on measuring the organisational impact of training and workforce development
  • A case study on RPM’s own Workforce Development Programme, by former Duty Manager Maria Foy
  • A tour of the Royal Pavilion’s renowned basement and tunnel areas, devised and led by participants in RPM’s Workforce Development Programme

Other RPM Workforce Development Programme alumni will also lead workshops on their experiences “The conference will review and evaluate existing workforce development programmes, consider and question the challenges faced and discuss and devise ways forward,” said Conference Coordinator Lindsey Smith.

The conference and programme links into ACE’s five strategies and in particular goal four, which focuses on diversity and skills to make sure the leadership and workforce in the arts, museums and libraries are diverse and appropriately skilled.

“Our aim for the day is for colleagues to share workforce initiatives happening nationwide and the challenges and barriers they face,” said Smith. “We will also look at how you evaluate and update these programmes and include young children.”

The conference takes place on Wednesday 30 November and costs £50 (£40 concessions), and the full programme and delegate booking form are now available on the museum’s website.

Enquiries can also be made by contacting RPM’s Events Booking line on 03000 290902 (Mon-Fri) or email [email protected].

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