Heritage organisations are less immune to short-termism than their vocation might suggest. I know of a National Trust property that got rid of its snowplough (dead money, according to the accountants), and then found itself unable to open for parking on many Winter days.
The onset of another economic Winter coincides with Ecclesiastical’s ‘Heritage Barometer’, which includes some passing but striking remarks about the precariat:
Our initial discussions revealed that the large numbers of small organisations, with lots of volunteers and lower-paid staff means that people ‘zigzag’ around the sector. This means it can be difficult to maintain rigorous and consistent training in the right areas. [...] Half of all organisations agree that it is difficult to recruit people with digital skills in the heritage sector [and] ultimately pay will be the primary carrot to get the right skills.
What came of all those internships, with the dangling promise of building up skills and eventually gaining an actual job? Now we can see how that’s turned out. No reserve army is there to ride to the cultural sector’s rescue.
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