Programme Manager, Cultural Skills

British Council
United Kingdom
08 Mar 2018
20 Mar 2018
Contract Type
Full Time

The British Council is the UK's international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. We do this by making a positive contribution to UK and the countries we work with - changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.

The Arts

Through our work in Arts we find new ways of connecting with and understanding each other to develop stronger creative sectors around the world. Our expert team in the UK and around the world works to five broad aims: to share UK arts with the world; to foster collaborations and networks; to build capacity in creative sectors; to foster social change; and to support the shaping of policy and research. This cultural exchange helps create modern and vibrant creative sectors, building connections, trust and opportunity. It can also help to bring together divided communities and people affected by conflict.

Our global Arts programmes include cultural seasons and festivals in countries around the world, supporting skills building and entrepreneurship, touring exhibitions of the UK's leading artists and designers, film festivals, book fairs, and dance, music and theatre performances and exchanges.
The Team

The Cultural Skills (CS) team collaborates with colleagues across all three areas of the British Council: Arts; Education and Society; and English and Exams. In doing so, it aims to complement and fill gaps in the British Council's current skills provision, align areas of work and regional priorities and to cultivate joined up ways of working.

CS draws on UK expertise in the area of cultural skills to co-invest in strategic partnerships across the full spectrum of the cultural sector. CS will position the British Council as a lead facilitator and convenor in the global provision of cultural skills by forming partnerships with institutions and governments globally. CS co-create innovative, evidence-based programmes and products which strengthen cultural relations through shared activity and mutual benefit.

The Opportunity

We have an excellent opportunity for a Programme Manager Cultural Skills toprovide specialist support to British Council offices overseas to ensure the development, implementation and management of high-quality, strategic cultural skills programmes which meet specific regional requirements and support the British Council's overall cultural relations objectives.

The successful candidate must demonstrate the following essential skills and experiences:

  • A strong knowledge of skills and capacity building provision within the cultural sector in the UK and the ability to make critical judgements across different programme areas
  • A good network of contacts across the UK cultural skills sector
  • A track record in cultural skills programming, with links to the arts and/or education
  • The ability to write effectively for a variety of different audiences
  • Experience of budget management for programmes and projects as well as internal financial systems and processes, ie. SAP
  • Experience of working in and/or an in-depth understanding of one or more of the clients, markets and industries that are relevant to Cultural Skills which include:

Cultural sector / institutions

Training & development


UK Education system -Higher Education, Further Education.

Youth & community sector

UK skills agenda

The main challenges and opportunities for this role include: (please see role profile forfulldetails of the duties):

  • Working within cross-departmental and multi-location teams to deliver cultural skills programmes within a large, complex international organisation.
  • Working on multiple programmes with different cultural and operational contexts in two priority regions, East Asia and the Middle East (resources, capacity, infrastructure, market, political)
  • Creating opportunities for the wider UK cultural skills sector that encourage international collaboration and professional exchange within a cultural relations context.
  • Creating income-generating programmes and products, either in partnership or via third-party funding
Equality Comment & Equality of Opportunity (UK)

Valuing diversity is essential to the British Council's work. We aim to abide by and promote equality legislation by following both the letter and the spirit of it to try and avoid unjustified discrimination, recognising discrimination as a barrier to equality of opportunity, inclusion and human rights. All staff worldwide are required to ensure their behaviour is consistent with our policies.

The British Council is committed to a policy of equal opportunity and is keen to reflect the diversity of UK society at every level within the organisation. We welcome applications from all sections of the community. In line with the British Council's Child Protection policy, any appointment is contingent on thorough checks. In the UK, and in other countries where appropriate systems exist, these include criminal records checks.

If you are interested in the role, then we would really like to hear from you. For further information please see the documents below:

Role profile

British Council behaviours

Core skills


Generous pension
32 days annual leave
Flexible working policy
Childcare vouchers
Season ticket loan

The closing date is Sunday 18th March 2018 at 23:59 UK time.