BAJR Federation Archaeology

Full Version: Trainee - Anyone with less than 6months experience
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A few weeks ago on a different thread i posted

"And on the subject of pay grades is it just me or are there an increasingly large number of units now using the trainee grade? When i started digging in 02 there were less jobs about but those that were were taking graduates on at the bottom of diggers wage which then was i think around 12,430. Not great but not as poor as those on offer now. I left uni with around 4months exp but units now seem to pay anyone with under 6months commercial exp at a trainee level - surely this is in real term a step backwards for graduates. If a trainee is the lowest level why do we need a degree?"

And the reply was

"have to confess that I have not seen these Trainee jobs you are talking about... all diggers jobs start at 13854... apart from a very few which I have checked to ensure are really training posts"

but the three main companies involved on the pipelines this year all have trainee grades. What exaxctly constitutes a trainee grade as for these companies it is stated that those with less than six months commercial experience are classed as trainees. :face-huh:

In my experience these people are offered no proper training and simply bumped up to a higher wage bracket after the six months are up reguardless of thier performance. Staff i have worked with previously at other units where they were payed as site assistants have become trainees by vertue of thier experience (or lack there of).

I am not questioning your adverts as it is not nessecarily stated on the bajr that these jobs are on offer, im worried that this is emerging as a real grey area for the exploitation of recent graduates. The pipelines are a huge source of potential jobs and this appears to me to be a loophole although it is used by other units.
See latest Pipeline Job... Now to me a trainee grade is exactly as it says on the packet (or in teis case the BAJR Guidelines) A G1 post must involve a person with little expereince (I would put most students and recent graduates into this ... No 3 years at Uni does not equal 3 years experieince Wink)

If they recieve an adequate ammount of training and are not placed in positions whereby archaeology could be threatened by inexpereince... then thats fine by me.

If however after people with 6 months exp plus are still on Trainee rates... then nope... and as far as I am aware... anyone who works as a digger (and requires no training) should be on the minimum 13854 -

Now what you are saying can be true... but it has been happening since the 80s. A recent Graduate should not be machine watching alone... or having any responsibility at all.. but they do have to learn somehow (a pipeline is perhaps not the best place) and as long as the ratio of people is adequate...

However I am - like you concerned about training... and the sad reality that skill-transfers are not happening ... we are losing too many diggers to teach the next generation how its done... and sadder still it is my generation of diggers that have let this happen...

"No job worth doing was ever done on time or under budget.."
Mornin all.

I share Trowel`s concerns on this one. Not only are there companies out here that exploit the "trainee" job description to acquire plenty of willing cheap labour, there are those units that take trainees on and simply don`t train them.Mr Hosty is sadly correct- skills transfer within the industry is virtually non-existant in some areas-largely due to our collective failure in experienced staff retention but also, our failure to confront issues on a national scale.When it comes to trainees, I would like to see them get an equivalent package to those who choose a career in the real world-namely: structured training agendas and a committment from their employers in writing.Would be good to have some minimum standards and guidelines on the issue of trainees too.We could of course look to academic institutions to raise the vocational elements of the undergrad courses too but, theres nothin like real-site experience to whet yer appetite... or induce one to look for a real job elsewhereBig Grin

..knowledge without action is insanity and action without knowledge is vanity..(imam ghazali,ayyuhal-walad)
Spot on Trowelfodder and Troll.

Anyone appointed as a 'trainee' (and therefore on a lower salary) should be given a clearly defined agenda for trqaining, not just thrust out into the field and told to learn on the job so that after a few months they can be made up to the next level.

I'm not asure that I have any real opinion on whether or not a pipeline is a suitable place to train - I have always regarded pipelines as being like any other sort of development site, which come in a diverse range of shapes and sizes and which require bespoke solutions for mitigation. I have never really had much time for individuals or companies that advertise themselves as 'pipeline specialists' although I note that in at least one recent advert the company is asking for applicants with previous pipline experience.

In terms of training, if the spread contains decent sites and features that require excavation than a trainee could be used and would certainly learn from those around them. However, as Mr Hosty has pointed out, machine-watching is not the place for a trainee on a pipeline or any other type of project.

I think this is a subject worthy of some detailed discussion.

I would disagree with the statement: "A recent Graduate should not be machine watching alone". This statement should read a recent graduate with little or no experience.... There are such things as mature students and there are people who do lots of field work during the course.

I take the "trainee" grade to include placement students or work experience or the very recent graduates with little experience beyond their training excavation.

For new graduates I take the training element to be on the job training given by other site workers particularly the supervisor rather than formal training with say day release.

I think greater clarity is needed. If employers are expected to give formal training via courses then this needs to be clearly stated rather than give false impressions about what the job involves.

I would not for example send (pay) somebody on a course to learn how to do dba.




Even if a student has done a considerable amount of fieldwork as part of their degree course, this is no preparation for commercial work. New workers in any environment need some degree of training and more inexperienced they are the greater they will benefit.

If you "take the training element to be on the job training given by other site workers particularly the supervisor rather than formal training with say day release" do you also take it that extra time (and money?) should be provided to facilitate this training. Or this yet another part of the job?

On the job training also assumes that those providing the training have adequate expertise in the first place. I have seen too many grids put in back to front, days of lost data, poor CAD drawings and very , very, very poor DBAs to suggest that this is not the case.

While mentoring has its place people only get the real benfit from structured training, (preferably as part of CPD) with some way of measuring progress (or lack of it) and achieveable goals.

Too many units take the view that if they train people they will leave. While this is true, they are also likely to be more efficient in their jobs. I belive that are also more likely to stay in the profession if training was provided.

Maybe I misunderstood but I take it that when you say you would not pay someone to do a DBA course that you have the time to teach them yourself in a meaningful way and this contributes to the overall CPD of the individual and the training policy of your company?

It is important to ask how the training in these positons is carried out and if these positions a genuine training posts or a excuse for low pay.

This is clearly not the case with the cambrian ad as if you work out the pay then its only a couple of quid under minimum diggers wage and doesnt state that is for everyone with less than 6months exp. but on the other hand another pipeline company pays trainees who are a blanket anyone less than 6months 6.30 ph which comes in way under and having worked for said company can assure you there is no training system in place whatsoever!!

But my main issue is that whether theres actually training available or not (which is obviously a huge issue) but that the widespread use of the trainee title is undermining the wages for new starters as it introduces a new grade before you reach the dizzy heights of digger grade 1. As it says in bajr payscales suitable for students with the university systems funding the way it is the lack of new diggers who stay is only intensifying and it is realy disheartning to see these people come through and be exploited this way.
Thanks peter.. I agree that the full statement should include little exp. too... as there are indeed those that have much exp and no degree till later (like me .... oooops still no degree... unless anyones offering ??)

I think I need real help to find out whether people get training and what it is...

I may actually require those that offer training places to send BAJR a statement of how this will be achieved.

"No job worth doing was ever done on time or under budget.."
:face-approve: Well sugguested Mr hosty! If a company was required to prove that the training is given then i think that would really improve the situation - and how about a bit of feedback from those currently being employed at that grade!

How do you feel about the training your recieving or are you simply doing tjhe same job on a lower wage?

And how about contacting the hotline with anon tipoffs so companies can be alerted to short comings in the field?

Doesnt affect me other than i think its developing into a real problem - lets hear from those it does!
Ok.... thats decided... I will add a wee note to the add job section....

(talk about interactive.. listening and democratic.... thats what BAJR is... ! All of us!)

ps.... the Promise about the training section I made at the BAJR conference has become a reality... !

"No job worth doing was ever done on time or under budget.."
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