Interdisciplinary Online Training camp for Young Professionals of Different Disciplines in the Cultural Heritage Sector  

HERITAGE-PRO is an initiative of six European partners from five countries who have set the goal of responding to the continuous call for interdisciplinary training of professionals from different disciplines for the sustainable management and preservation of cultural heritage. The main objective of the HERITAGE-PRO project was therefore to improve interdisciplinary skills in cultural heritage management. The aim is to bring together technical and methodological expertise from different disciplines relevant to cultural heritage conservation. The project develops 4 main outcomes:

  1. A multilingual training scheme with an interdisciplinary approach that addresses disciplines relevant for the successful management of cultural heritage.
  2. Multilingual guidelines for cultural heritage managers as a practical implementation tool for each of the training modules, which helps to organising the process of bringing together different people from diverse disciplines.
  3. A training kit as a ready-to-use implementation tool that supports and facilitates the implementation from an organisational point of view with ready-to-use templates.
  4. A two-day training camp for young professionals that brings together people from the various professional disciplines, both academic and non-academic.

The Training Camp

The two-day training camp took place on April 19 and 20, 2021 in an online setting. The camp brought together around 50 young people at the beginning of their careers who came from very different disciplines related to the administration and preservation of cultural heritage. By bringing the disciplines together, an understanding of the different opinions, training, expectations, and working styles was created. Ultimately, the aim was to strengthen cooperation beyond the individual disciplines. In addition, participants had the opportunity to build and deepen their own network of European experts, strengthen interdisciplinary competencies and learn about the materials and results developed in the HERITAGE-PRO project.

The program of the training camp was based on the HERITAGE-PRO training modules, the guidelines, and the training kit. It also included a social program. Through the social program (e.g. group tasks, getting to know each other, etc.) the different professional groups came closer and mutual understanding for each other was developed. In addition, information on career opportunities in the field of cultural heritage was provided and HERITAGE-PRO materials were applied, tested, and evaluated in a practical way.

The “Häusener Kran” in St. Goarshausen (Rhineland-Palatinate) served as a practical application and teaching example. The “Häusener Kran” is an industrial monument from the year 1917, which will be restored in 2021. The crane is located in the middle of the region of the UNESCO World Heritage “Upper Middle Rhine Valley”.

“Häusener Kran” in St. Goarshausen.
“Häusener Kran” in St. Goarshausen. – Image Source: Entwicklungsagentur Rheinland-Pfalz e.V.

Program of the camp

The training camp consisted of an introduction program for the participants, training on the basics of interdisciplinary cooperation, and an introduction to the materials of HERITAGE-PRO. The „Häusener Kran“ was virtually visited together with experts from the field of monument protection and restoration. The focus was on practical and administrative procedures for the preservation of cultural heritage sites and the exchange with the experts.

Small interdisciplinary teams tested the application of HERITAGE-PRO materials, using the example of the Häusen crane, and discussed the results.

The participants were postgraduates and young people who are at the beginning of their professional life and who have started or would like to start their first job in heritage preservation. It was aimed at non-academic and academic professionals:

  • Young professionals of the crafts sector (e.g. plumbers, carpenters, technicians, facility managers etc.)
  • Masters’ candidates, doctoral candidates, and postgraduates of European universities in the fields of cultural management, cultural heritage, art history, architecture, urban and regional planning, geography, real estate management, etc.

Participants received a certificate about successful participation in the training camp certifying newly obtained interdisciplinary competencies.

The experiences of the online training are described in a concept for the implementation of online training in cultural heritage-related topics.

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