October’s #HeritageChat explored why the 16-24-year-old age group are underrepresented in terms of engagement with heritage, which is currently a key focus of the H2020 Public Engagement working group.  Both the 2017/18 and 2018/19 DCMS ‘Taking Part’ Surveys revealed that this age group visited heritage sites less frequently than other age groups between 25 and 74. In light of this, the working group want to ensure a greater emphasis is placed on involving young people in all aspects of work in heritage and the historic environment. To works towards this, they used the chat as an opportunity to learn about the work that is already happening and to source ideas from heritage professionals and students about what could be improved.

Discussion points during the hour included whether the statistics reflect the everyday experience in the sector, what problems there are that impact upon a ‘heritage offer’ for 16-24-year olds, and whether low engagement rates could also be caused by perceptions of heritage among the age group. Participants also shared what has worked and been popular in their experience and ideas of what could increase engagement in the future.

You can catch up on all the conversations that took place here.