The number of black and minority ethnic people employed in the museums and galleries sector is “less than encouraging”, the culture minister has admitted.
David Lammy also refused to put a timescale on the amount of time it would take for the numbers to be boosted to a more acceptable level.
Of the 15,000 staff in the sector, only 4.4% are of Asian, African, Caribbean or Chinese descent, compared with 7% of the overall UK workforce, according to Museums Association figures. And less than 2% of museum staff working with and presenting collections are from ethnic minorities.
A new scheme to address the issue and encourage more diverse talent into the sector was launched at the British Museum last week.
Lammy told the audience: “There is a paucity of black and minority ethnic people working in this sector. The workforce must draw on the broadest talent pool and we are not quite there yet.”
The Young Graduates for Museums and Galleries programme, run by education firm Global Graduates, identifies talented students from non-traditional and diverse backgrounds.