ARA/CILIP Workforce Mapping Project

FOI request reference: F0063712
Publication date: December 2020

On page 27 of the Archives workforce development strategy attention is drawn to ethnicity and gender with reference to the findings of the ARA/CILIP study. The section of the Archives workforce development strategy on ‘Diverse and socially mobile workforce’ ends with the following statement:

‘To enable this long term objective to be achieved the archive workforce needs to be more open to challenge and to create more opportunities to listen to the experiences of people from minority groups. Policies which seek to address the lack of diversity within archives must be developed with the support and active contribution of people from affected communities and their lived experience must be valued and reflected.’

• Following the publication of the strategy, have any policies been developed seek to address the lack of diversity within archives? If so, please could you give examples?
• Have any of these policies had the desired effect? If so, could you point me to evidence (qualitative and/or quantitative) for this?

Information provided.

Since publishing the Archives Workforce Development Strategy in 2018, we have taken a number of steps to support the sector to build a diverse and socially mobile workforce. In 2019 we led the forming of a working group, a Trailblazer, to develop an Archivist and Record Manager Apprenticeship. The Head of Archives Sector Development, Dr Emma Markiewicz, is the Chair of the Trailblazer. The apprenticeship will be a Level 7 qualification which will enable apprentices to work as qualified Archivists or Records Managers on successful completion of their training and assessment. The apprenticeship will launch in 2021. We will support the launch of the apprenticeship by providing training and support for the sector on how to recruit and manage apprenticeships.

We are delivering Bridging the Digital Gap, a training programme that aims to increase digital skills in archives by bringing in new people from different backgrounds to create a more diverse, inclusive, and skilled workforce. Through these traineeships, talented technical people are using their skills, energy and digital confidence to help preserve history and find new ways for other people to access and learn from that heritage. The programme is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and has offered three rounds of eight traineeships each at host institutions in Yorkshire, Norfolk, London and the South West. Trainees are employed by The National Archives and seconded to a host archive for their 15-month training placement. Of the trainees recruited to the programme between 2018 and 2020, 29% identified as being from a minority ethnic group, 25% identified as having a disability and 63% identified as male.

We are currently participating in the Creative Careers Programme, highlighting careers in the Archives sector to school children through regional Enterprise Co-ordinators. In 2019 we hosted a Creative Careers Discovery Day, during which schools from the local area visited The National Archives to participate in archiving and conservation workshops.

In 2019 we created a new role, the Archive Sector Development Inclusion and Change Manager. The remit of the role is to support the Archive sector to build a resilient and inclusive workforce, as well as user engagement with archives. Since the development of the role, we have created a number of support materials for the sector, including a matrix to use when planning inclusion work, a risk assessment tool to use when communicating potentially upsetting histories, and a support package for the inclusive re-opening of services after the COVID-19 closures. In early 2020, the Inclusion and Change Manager supported a UKRI Research internship. The intern undertook research into barriers to access for Pakistani women in Archives.

In March 2020 we commissioned an Inclusion and Diversity Review of our funding programmes, ‘Archives Revealed’ and ‘Innovate and Collaborate’. Following the review, we have worked with our funders and stakeholders to iterate the programmes to ensure that they are transparent and inclusive, and that we are funding initiatives that will support the development of an inclusive and resilient sector.

As these are new interventions, we do not yet have any data measuring the impact they have had on workforce mobility within the sector.