Europe is globally renowned for its skills in the field of cultural heritage preservation and conservation. However, this legacy is being jeopardised by cuts in public budgets and an ageing population.

The heritage knowledge and skills that have been built up over years are hardly being transferred to younger generations, while new technologies open new perspectives for preservation, conservation and interpretation.

This initiative aims to address these challenges by supporting the development of high level specialised skills and improving knowledge transfer in the cultural heritage sector. It aims to attract young people into heritage-related jobs, while at the same time helping heritage-related professions adapt to the digital world.

For whom?

Cultural heritage training professionals and institutions, young people, policymakers at national and regional level.


The initiative has 3 components:

Component 1: Experience sharing and policy recommendations

Identifying good practice in existing policy and training schemes is the first step in ensuring that skills and knowledge are passed on to future generations. A group of 26 experts from EU education and culture ministries has been established for this purpose. The group is meeting regularly throughout 2018 to share experiences and analyse good practice, and will present a set of concrete policy recommendations to EU Ministers of Culture and Education by the end of 2018.

In addition, a report entitled “Skills for Heritage’”, was developed by a group of civil society stakeholders as part of the "Voices of Culture" structure dialogue that the European Commission is conducting with cultural operators, and enriched the experts’ discussions.


• November 2017
Voices of Culture stakeholders’ report on "Skills for Heritage"
• 5-8 February 2018
First discussion of the experts’ work in the framework of the "Conference on Professionalism in Built Heritage Sector" organised by the Raymond Lemaire International Centre for Conservation, in Leuven, Belgium
• Autumn 2018
Dissemination of policy recommendations of the expert group

Throughout 2018
3 meetings of the EU expert group on heritage professions

Component 2: Rewarding excellence and quality – vocational education and training (VET) excellence awards 2018

In the context of the European Vocational Skills Week, this award recognises European organisations that contribute to excellence and quality in vocational education and training in Europe. On the occasion of the European Year of Cultural Heritage, a special “Selection of the Jury” will identify an innovative vocational education and training provider engaged in developing specialized skills for the future of cultural heritage


• August 2018
Application process for VET providers - more information on the European Vocational Skills Week website
• 9 November 2018
Announcement of the winners during the closing event of the European Vocational Skills Week 2018

Component 3: Opportunities for cultural heritage professionals

As part of this European Initiative, several actions are being carried out to help tackle the shortage of high-level professionals in “traditional” heritage occupations and to develop new professional skills, including making better use of new technologies for heritage preservation.

These include:

Good practice: the Erasmus+-funded Mu.SA project (Museum Sector Skills Alliance) is investigating necessary skills and competences to support museum professionals in their digital transformation journey. The project will inform the development of specific training programmes for developing both hard/digital and transferable skills for ICT-related jobs for museum professionals.


• November 2018
European Vocational Skills Week throughout the EU
• November 2018
Denkmal Fair, in Leipzig, Germany
• Throughout 2018
Promotion of Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020 funding possibilities for cultural heritage professional skills and training needs


  • Within the European Commission, services dealing with education, culture and employment are involved in this initiative
  • ICCROM, ENCACT, ECCO, FARO, Council of Europe
  • Raymond Lemaire Center in Leuven, Belgium
  • Erasmus+ National Agencies

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