BAJR Federation Archaeology

Full Version: 5 years time.....
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P Prentice Wrote:large units have large overheads and are not much interested in small jobs for small developments whereas small independents, or collectives, can provide a competative service - there is a whole other world under the corporate radar where archaeologists can earn a living

A couple of years ago I'd have said that this was definitely true, but since the recession I've seen some fairly large companies tendering for jobs that would previously have been too small-scale for them, simply to get work and keep staff employed. I'm sure some must be tendering below cost just to win, which can't be healthy or sustainable, particularly as the only real way to reduce your price is to lower staff wages.
in five years time a lot more of you will be trying to get your self-assesment tax return in at about this time of year so that you can get your family tax credits
Marcus Brody Wrote:I'm sure some must be tendering below cost just to win, which can't be healthy or sustainable, particularly as the only real way to reduce your price is to lower staff wages.

I know for a fact that this is indeed the case in my own specialization (geophysics).
Marcus Brody Wrote:I'm sure some must be tendering below cost just to win, which can't be healthy or sustainable, particularly as the only real way to reduce your price is to lower staff wages.

For a number of years now (well before the economic crisis of 2008) we have been told that commercial archaeology has been due a rationalisation of an overcrowded supply side. I ma guessing in its rawest form that cut-throat pricing is part of the rationalisation and perhaps it isn't such a bad thing that it's happening now whilst the market is depressed rather than when it would make a difference to a far larger number of staff.

I saw a programme yesterday on the BBC which suggested the same thing is happening in Local Government with what they described as 'downgrading'......the BBC arguement as to why people were putting up with this was that the alternative (unemployment) was even worse. However as a long term strategy it is unsustainable.....and can only be effective in the short tern if it results in a much reduced number of traders and employees on the supply side and a steady or increasing demand for the product. 5 years time I expect we won't be much further progressed in this recession that we are at present, so I confidently predict that undercutting and tendering below cost will not be a viable strategy at that point, unless the traders in question can sustain losses on trading for such a long period. But it would be interesting to speculate how many amongst the top 10 UK archaeological contractors will still be trading independently and close to their present structure in 5 years time. I'd suggest less than 5.......maybe less than 3...!!
In my experience some of those archaeology companies that do the undercutting have another resource to tap into to stay afloat.............whether its a university departments pocket, a supply of paying student employees or donations and tax breaks because they are a charity (somehow).
in my experience most of the undercutting units/traders produce crap and inadequate work though some even pay staff quite well
i dont think anybody can tender below cost anymore - it is unnecessary when people are on such short contracts
we all want faster, better, more capable staff to keep costs down and the current climate has made that more possible, just as it has allowed local authority an dgovernment agencies to cull their workforces
Casting my mind (such as it is) back to the previous recessions(s), certainly in other professions it was the larger firms with money squirrelled away that "bought" jobs, to keep the firm going and a core of staff employed. Some architects even did jobs for zero fee. Up to them in one sense, and good for the core of staff kept on, but bad news for small and medium firms that couldn't work for nothing and needed the fee income to stay afloat: many didn't of course. One might of course question the quality of the work produced under such circumstances - no, silly of me.
Good grief, I go on holiday for a couple of weeks and there's an interesting and not-too-bitchy discussion going on on here!....err, does that mean I should stay off here permanently for the collective good?..... :face-crying:

I stick ?50 in Premium Bonds every month, so in 5 years time I'll either have retired with my winnings to a Costa or I'll have the money for a new cheap car :face-approve:

Have just been checking out the personnel section of the upcoming/under development replacement company website, and of 25ish permanent staff I don't think anyone has less than 8 years professional experience and most have a lot more (several 30+) - if this is a commonplace across the profession then new graduates are going to be in trouble looking for anything other than 'basic' digging jobs.....
And I hear on the BBC news yesterday ( Saturday) that there is a real skills shortage in archaeology ( The CBA apparently have released this info). I am now confused

ps Dino I like the premium bond Idea, might give it a go :face-approve:
Amazing how it accumulates, and of course it saves on the tedium of checking the lottery numbers Smile
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