2024 – A year of action and further collaboration

Icon takes a look at Icon’s policy priorities for the year ahead and invites members to share their views on the issues that matter most to the

07 Mar 2024

As we enter the new year, we start to look ahead at our policy priorities and how Icon can continue to champion the conservation profession in 2024.

If 2023 was a year of research and analysis, 2024 is a year of action. We will continue to deliver on the priorities outlined in our Icon Skills Strategy 2023, particularly our work around stimulating demand for highly skilled conservation-restoration professionals; raising the profile of professional conservators; and actively advocating for and promoting the positive impact of accreditation to employers, funders, clients and commissioners of conservationrestoration services.

We will also be building on our plan for action for Industrial Heritage conservation skills and applying what we have learnt to all areas of conservation practice.

The first action will be to work with Icon’s specialist groups and key sector stakeholders to develop a ‘Red List’ of conservation skills. This is an area where inaction is simply not an option. Failure to understand the specific skills where training is limited, or where there are very small numbers of people currently with those skills in the workforce, means that competencies and knowledge that have taken years to develop could be lost forever. This will be an excellent advocacy tool that we can use to shine a light on the incredible range of skills that exist within the conservation workforce.

When completed, we will share this work with funders and stakeholders to ensure that funding is aligned to need and that policy makers recognise the vital importance of the conservationrestoration profession.

We are also excited to be working closely with Historic Environment Scotland and key partners across Scotland to support the delivery of the recommendations of the revised Skills Investment Plan for Scotland which is due for publication in the coming months. Through the Historic Environment Forum, we will also continue to lead on work with the Heritage Skills Demand Group and work closely with the newly developed Green Skills Topic Group.

In 2024 we will also be actively seeking opportunities to work with a broader range of groups and networks to ensure that Icon is campaigning on issues that impact conservator-restorers, whether they are based in the UK or internationally.

Icon will be working closely with members of our Policy Forum to ensure that we remain abreast of the priorities for employers and practitioners, and that we can respond quickly to issues when they arise. No doubt this will be even more important with a general election looming over us all.

This article was featured in the Winter 2023 edition of Icon's Iconnect Magazine. To read the full issue and previous editions please click here.