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Thread: Is archaeology using interns and is this and acceptable practice?

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    Default Is archaeology using interns and is this and acceptable practice?

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    I'm guessing the new problem may be that horrible word 'internship' in the near future. Have a look on Wessex's website. It's not an archaeology position but it won't take a mastermind 5 seconds to try and role that one out given the chance.
    I took Killer Penguin's post off the Graduated Archaeologist thread as I think it raises an important issue. With it getting harder and harder for recent graduates to get jobs in archaeology are new starters being forced into unpaid internships which would have been paid trainee positions a few years ago?

    If this is the case this just an economic reality, a barrier to those without the financial means to support themselves, or an exploitative move by companies to increase profits? Where does the IFA stand on this practice?

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    I was under the impression that unpaid internships were illegal, as well as being exploitative and acting as a barrier to people being able to gain entrance into the profession. It is difficult enough to get acceptable field experience, for those such as myself on a low budget*, let alone then facing the prospect of months of unpaid labour to get a foot in the door.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2011...k-paid-lawyers

    *I was financially better off on the dole than I am as a student!

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    Chivalric Lord of BAJR Dinosaur's Avatar
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    People slag-off the old 'vol' system, but at least you got enough money to support a diet of beer, beans and rollies, and a new second-hand tent once in a while, while accruing enough experience to get a 'proper' job!

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    I am very interested to find out if this practice is actually happening - and when does unpaid volunteering become an internship?

    Can a commercial company (and this includes Trusts who have a commercial section) use unpaid staff to do a job that would otherwise be paid - be it finds processing, database work, fieldwork or whatever?

    Volunteering seems to be becoming the norm for newbies but is this eroding the opportunities for paid work or the best way to gain a foothold? And should the profession be making a move to stop this?

    It seems to be recognised within the industry that training positions are needed with the IFA, CBA and others offering paid trainee positions, but is this a sticking plaster and a way for companies to gain an unpaid staff member year after year?

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    Wessex Archaeology currently have unpaid internships on offer. Business and marketing internships but not acceptable all the same.

    http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/vacancie...ng-internships

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    I am interested that as Wessex is an RO does the IFA take a stance on the practice - particularly given the link pasted above by yourself?

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    I do think that it would be good if this was at least discussed at the IFA conference.

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    Chivalric Lord of BAJR kevin wooldridge's Avatar
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    Welsh Andy is right. A number of recent tribunals have found that internships should be paid at least the minimum wage. Unfortunately the interns in question might be caught between a rock and a hard place as an employment tribunal could not make a ruling unless the person had taken on the internship in the first instance.....

    Whether this is covered by the RAO minimum salary provisions is open to question as no doubt the unit in question could argue these are not jobs directly classified as archaeological work....does standing as an RAO mean for example that all employees of an organisation have to be paid at the IfA minimum rate or just those employed in archaeological posts.
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    Commander of the BAJRites Wax's Avatar
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    Can an intern claim unemployment benefits? I know this can be an issue with voluntary work but as long as you are available for work when it comes up, can prove you are looking for it and the organisation who is taking you on as a volunteer is willing to put it in writting that this is the case you are entitled to your benefits. isn't there some dodgy deal that companies providing internships can do with the benefits agencies so that interns are still entitled to benefits?

    personally I think internships stink and minimum wage should be compulsory for such positions. In a volunteer organisation the intern can be classed as a volunteer but in a commercial set up it is exploitation. Do companies get round it with their charity status?

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