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Internships
#11
Quote from Bob: 'I'm sorry for those graduating this year, but you're better off not starting out in archaeology!!' this is a really pointless and negative statement........and any undergrads should take absolutely no heed...........when things pick up (and they will !)the profession will be crying out for experienced staff as was the case in the not too distant past..........
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#12
Archaeology already has an intern scheme. It is run by the IfA and it provides training and experience for new graduates and working archaeologists who want to gain new skills; it to some extent addresses skills shortages within the industry; it is regulated and it pays a bursary which is equal to, if not greater than, the IfA's minimum salary rates.

One could argue that there are not enough IfA internships and that the range of potential training opportunites could be broadened, but....no-one can seriously suggest that introducing a non-regulated, poverty-waged slave market which would totally undermine the IfA scheme, in any way improves the industry as a whole or the job prospects of any single individual.

If funding is available to improve or consolidate the current IfA bursary scheme, archaeology as a profession should do everything to obtain that funding. But surely not at the expense of throwing the baby out with the bath water. It is difficult enough to make a living in UK archaeology. There are currently hundreds of unemployed archaeologists looking for work. I don't think that offering a wage of £60 a week for 37 or 40 hours does anything for unemployed archaeologists, especially archaeologists who don't have trust-funds to underwrite and maintain their 'lifestyle'.

I would hope that BAJR would at least take a stand on this and insist that the current wage minima are maintained.

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#13
BAJR has minimum rates for training.. the G1 and this must be backed up by evidence that there is training.. not just cheap labour doing the same job as a G2 or 3

That will not change.

"Gie's a Job.."
Prof. 'Dolly' Parton
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#14
I disagree with most comments - I think it is a good idea. Why not? I had to volunteer for months just to get some 'CV points' as you put it, and that didn't exactly pay the best. If peeople who have undergone an archaeological degree but have little experience and want to work in archaeology then they would welcome this scheme. You're not getting free labour as they will be relatively inexperienced. I'm sick of all the negative 'oh archaeology is a mug's game, now get lost so you don't flood the market' comments - it is rubbish.

An internship can give people a lot better job security and maybe even a permanent job at the end of it.

The recession will end (believe it or not) and all those backed-up housing developments will come online and those that may have done an internship will be better placed than people who have been on the dole and 'done a bit of volunteering on the sly'. How is an internship more 'exploitative' than 'volunteering' with a company - surely the latter really is 'slave labour! and the former a paid training opportunity. I would welcome an intern into my department. So there.

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#15
Quote:quote:Originally posted by Gilraen

I disagree with most comments - I think it is a good idea. Why not?

Hi Gilraen

How do you feel about taking on 'interns' at slave wages whilst there are literally hundreds of unemployed archaeologists seeking employment that pays a living wage?
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#16
More to the point, Gilraen, how would you feel about tendering against a company which can put 10 interns in the field to do the excavation, and charge them to the client AND be collecting from the government for employing them. if something like this were advertised, you'd probably get people with some experience going for it; its probably more interesting than the dole. It sounds like a highly profitable way to run a business.

I find the comments that people graduating should pay no attention to the economy and all pile into archaeology like they have done in the past a bit odd. It sounds like the tactics of the lemming to me. There are still lots of experienced archaeologists out there, they are just out of work. When the jobs come back, so will they.

And what does the IfA say?

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#17
Quote:quote:Originally posted by monty

Quote from Bob: 'I'm sorry for those graduating this year, but you're better off not starting out in archaeology!!' this is a really pointless and negative statement........and any undergrads should take absolutely no heed...........when things pick up (and they will !)the profession will be crying out for experienced staff as was the case in the not too distant past..........

and my point, Monty, is that there are all ready too many archaeologists with skills, and too many of those are unemployed at the moment. Coming into archaeology at the moment is not something I would suggest to anyone, would you? seriously?
I don't know the exact figures anymore, but this summer there will be another couple of hundred archaeology grads, plus 2nd years all looking for site work, on top of several hundred unemployed, and skilled, archaeologists who have already committed to the profession. The problem is a lack of work, not a lack of staff.
What will these interns get? In archaeology, as we often agree, there is f*** all training, so in a time of financial pressure on units who will train these interns so they are not being used as drudges? It can only be other staff, on top of their existing jobs, and without proper training themselves. Which units will have the flexibility to offer such schemes properly? Units don't train staff properly at the best of times, when they are cutting things to the bone do you think interns will get a good deal. Archaeology does not need this scheme, and is not suited to it for all the reasons we all complain of. If you want to get into Barclays or Microsoft (two companies interested)then I can see three months in a structured internship might be worthwhile, but in archaeology?
BAJR has a training grade, and that is what should be paid, not a level just above student loan income. No intern will get a job at the end of 3 months when there are diggers with 20 years experience out there on the dole. If you want an intern scheme apply for an IFA learning bursary, you'll get a 'decent' wage then, and real skills.
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#18
Quote:quote:Originally posted by Oxbeast

There are still lots of experienced archaeologists out there, they are just out of work. When the jobs come back, so will they.

Oxbeast makes a timely and extremely good point.

It maybe that the best way to beat the recession in archaeology is to find something else to do for a while. There are lots of other professions out there where exponents have second or third strings to their employment bows enabling them to better ride out the ups and downs of seasonal or temporal employment swings. In fact one of the better learnt lessons of this particular dip might be to remind archaeologists that their profession can be a cruel master/mistress.

In the meantime the rest of us should bear in mind the philosophy of one Corporal Jones and 'don't panic', (at least not until we see the white of the enemy's eye!!)

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#19
Have to say I was anticipating some of the responses. To my mind there are pro and cons of both schemes. These are extreme times and I think that careful consideration is needed rather than gut reactions. Yes - schemes like this and work experience in general can led to exploitation but there are also benefits.

The £2500 grant must be a good thing in that it will encourage people to take on staff sooner rather than later. But it may distort competition.

As for the internships I have felt for a long time the pay minima and other terms and conditions make it difficult to offer work experience except on the basis that the pay is zero. This I regard as a bad thing. Training a new graduate costs money which takes a long time to recover.

Clearly having a digging team made up entirely of interns would be a bad thing but what about 20%. Both schemes have the potential to distort the market place.

To suggest that we should have paid apprenticeship with garantueed work is not on the aggenda at the moment so why suggest it. If the government was offerring to pay for these I would certainly take advantage of this scheme. Similarly there is not government money for more IFA bursaries. It is unrealistic to talk in these terms.

At the moment the biggest problem is certainty - how long can you offer somebody a job for.

To go back to the notion of work experience and voluntary work being a bad thing. BAJR and past horizons both extoll the virtues of voluntary work particularly in hot exotic places. Similarly there is widesperead acceptance of the notion of community archaeology based upon volunteers or people who pay to do archaeological work. So what is the difference with internship for new graduates. This is not a scheme for unemployed archaeologists but new graduates there is a difference.

Finally there have been announcement about green job creation schemes - archaeology may well come under this. If it does are we going to reject these as well.

Peter

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#20
One of the biggest problems in archaeology, is the conveyor belt effect of a raft of new grads every year. They are often desperate for a job, particularly given the debts people are forced to take on at uni these days. This often means, that they are understandably more prepared to put up with a raw deal than more experienced diggers. By a "raw deal" I mean things like, no toilets, deductions from pay for accomadation, lack of holiday pay etc. Many new grads aren't even aware of their rights. This makes new grads particularly attractive to some units. Not to mention the lower pay levels that they are more willing to accept.

This scheme, will worsen this situation.
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