Why? • Objectives

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 not being transferred to younger generations. A lack of high-level professionals in ‘traditional’ heritage occupations has already been forecast.

This initiative aims to address this challenge by supporting the development of 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? • Target groups

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

What? • Content of the initiative

The initiative will have two main components:



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 will meet 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’, developed by a group of civil society stakeholders as part of the Voices of Culture structured dialogue that the European Commission is conducting with cultural operators will enrich the experts’ discussions.


• November 2017
Voices of Culture stakeholders’ report of on Skills for Heritage
• Throughout 2018
Three meetings of the EU expert group on heritage professions
• 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



As part of this European Initiative, several actions will be 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:

• Promoting funding possibilities available through Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020 to improve cultural heritage skills and training. This will be achieved with the help of Erasmus + national agencies in EU Member States;

• Highlighting training opportunities for young people available through Erasmus+, Erasmus Mundus Masters and the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions. Links will be made with the EU Heritage Prize/Europa Nostra Awards winners in the ‘Education and training’ category.

• Promoting the value of heritage-related professions in large-scale events such as the 2018 European Vocational Skills Week (VET Week) and the international Denkmal Fair in Germany.

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.


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


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

Find out more

Find out more