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Culture Recovery Fund News

Image of historical documents overlaid with 'here for culture' logo and culture syndicates logo

Three images. All outdoors. In the first picture a male employee is holding a clipboard and surveying two women. In the second image a female employee is holding a clipboard and smiling at a man she is surveying. In the third image two women stand looking at a clipboard and stand in front of a canvas board.

At Culture Syndicates we exist to support the UK’s vibrant and varied cultural sector, which offers a wide range of learning and enjoyment, creates jobs and supports livelihoods. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic the museum sector has faced closures and reduced visitor numbers due to national and local lockdown restrictions and social distancing guidelines. As a result, organisations are facing the threat of permanent closure and redundancies.

At Culture Syndicates we temporarily suspended our operations and furloughed our small team. We relied on the capacity of our voluntary Board of Directors to continue essential actions during the closure. As a consultancy, our business was impacted greatly by the halt in museum work. We are grateful to our clients, who continued to support us during this difficult time and we are now pleased to be back to work on a part-time basis. Our focus going forward is to adapt and innovate how we support our clients and the wider cultural sector in the wake of the pandemic.

Thanks to the government investment of £1.57bn into the sector via the Culture Recovery Fund, organisations like ours can find their way through the coronavirus by adapting and innovating and continue to be #HereForCulture. We are thankful to the Culture Recovery Fund for supporting us by committing funding to our work. As a social enterprise we strive to add value to the sector; our plans for the Culture Recovery Fund aim to do just that. This funding will enable us to develop our Workforce Futures stream of work, a development project that we began prior to COVID-19. We have modelled a new approach to workforce development that would offer more value to the sector. The initial stages of this project included a literature review and a survey of employers and sector entrants. We will now work with key stakeholders to shape our workforce development programme further. 

Image of historical documents overlaid with 'here for culture' logo and culture syndicates logo

We propose to create an interactive and integrated online learning platform that enables organisations or individuals to purchase one-off courses or an annual membership, through which they can choose the most appropriate resources for their staff and volunteers on an unlimited basis. The platform will offer participants the opportunity to network, share learning and support one another through peer coaching. We will also build a Culture Syndicates curriculum to support the training and development of our future entry level staff to equip them with the diverse range of skills necessary for the future of the museum sector, including digital, business and leadership skills.

The fund will therefore allow us to build upon our successful track record of upskilling sector entrants. Since our establishment, we have employed 41 Heritage Assistants, 14 interns, and given support to 15 work experience placements; they each got a personal development plan and 90% have been able to progress into heritage roles across the country. Stay with us to hear more about our recovery work and join us in being #HereForCulture.

By Natasha Clegg, Workforce Development and Projects Officer 

Find out more about training and employment opportunities at Culture Syndicates here.

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