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ex students needing training

Lets face it there are only a few excavations which will pay individuals to take part, let alone training assisting field staff.

I think there is an opening in the sourcing of funding as budget portions being earmarked for vocational training graduates.

Universities need to be taking an increasingly strong stance in how they are going to be supporting their alumni through career placements.

conversely though training excavations need to be taking on a mixed bag of unemployed field staff from across the company rather than sticking to those you taught or know.

This is ring fencing for graduate job protectionism.

Lets face it if we can't bring ourselves to think outside of this self supportive education system, then I think that there are going to be real perils, to be tread further down the line.

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We need to construct real working partnerships between the universities and commercial industry to establish wider inclusion to the industry outside of established, possibly exploitative relationships.

Every graduate deserves a chance but at the same time take the current economic climate seriously in how they are going to get their foot in the door.

The graduates will no longer be in a position to get help from their former institutions, to any great degree so it may be that a wider and more inclusive approach must be undertaken to maintain openings for future funding sources on the basis of archaeology for all not just those who can afford to live without and those who are in the right place at the right time.

Life is full of barriers and I think the educational industry should be much more interested in developing broad based research and training excavations.

The Stonehenge Riverside Project last year involved a great many students and universities. They are to develop training opportunities even for those whom have considerable experience, but also the social networks for the students that they can build up will enable a much more inclusive network for their future needs on the circuit for jobs and such.

However these will be fine lines with funding fodder, and socialite networking hubs of exclusivity.

The different approaches to participation will mark the next stage of how the educational system shall approach and treat their responsibility to teaching the future of the industry and developing those that maintain the present, for that future.

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This particular topic could not have occurred at a more crucial time for me. I have just completed my UG degree in Archaeology at Chester and now have to try to get paid work as an archaeologist. I probably have a further disability in that I am 52 years old! With only 15 weeks experience mainly on training digs how can I meet the requirement in many ads of at least 12 months experience of commercial archaeology?

Pete A,

I suspect that the way into archaeology is the same as ever; volunteering. I started at the tail end of the last recession and had to cobble together 4 months voluntary experience before I got my first paid work. And then only with a company that had taken me on as a volunteer initially. I'm not certain, but I think the period when a new grad could get a job with only training dig experience was short lived during the height of the boom. This recession is much worse than the last, but I think the way in to archaeology is the same.

Good luck.

As for closer co-operation between commercial archaeology and the academic community. Great idea, but I don't think they're interested. And why exactly would Universities be interested in the work prospects of Alumni when they usually can't be bothered to train for the market? The old argument "we are not teaching them how to do a job, we are teaching them to think" doesn't do new grads many favours in the job market.
Keep hassling employers and don't give up ! Good luck.
If you have the spare time look at your skill set and see what archaeological research you can do in your own area. i.e learn the local records office, SMR and how to use O.S maps etc all the stuff behind desk-top assessments.Keeps you focus while learning the ropes of part of the job. You get to know contacts that way and mind land you a job. Get into landscape and practice recording and drawing. making notes. Best of luck
Don't just think of volunteer digging. As a forty-*cough* year old undergrad, I've picked up a month's work experience in post-ex at a unit near me - I believe this is usually aimed at 17-18 year old school leavers. I'm expecting to rinse and label bits of pot for a month. As well as being usefully hands-on, it's a way of getting to know people and starting to understand how the industry ticks. If there's a unit local to you, find out if they have an outreach officer and get on the blower. If you don't ask, you don't get.

I'm unlikely to scare up the sort of digging history required in most job ads by the time I graduate, and anything I do find is unlikely to be to commercial standards. I'm needing to think sideways a bit to maximise what (probably woeful) chances I have of employment in two years' time. Join me in the Masochism Tango...
Thanks for all this useful advice, a lot of which I'm already trying to follow. I have a friend who works for the "Conservation" Department of Wirral Borough Council who has discussed my archaeological interests with me. I'm trying to pursued him to let me come and spend a few days with him. I'm also hassling MAS to let me come and do the same there so now my initial digging ('scuse the pun!) should be at the doors of archaeology units in the area to let me come and see their work. Will keep you posted.


primarily for this thread I was thinking in relation to the current status of the unemployed experienced digger, in a position to practically expose people to the skills necessary to get through a working environment, not necessarily to get a job on the basis of the said experience.

Given the current climate and the competitive nature of the whole situation, I was thinking primarily about the onus of responsibility in the ball park of the universities whom are able to tout exceptional employment stats over those with next to none.

The stats to get people to apply for their university, given that the alumni provide those stats and the current situation would place 1200 graduates this summer as not obtaining a job in their chosen trainings field.

This as apposed inter-institutional alumni based, one on one mentoring roles, for 'new graduates' which, is what i am referring to.

This would also stand in the face of the employment market being dominated by funding fodder and social elitist cliques.

but anyways

back to the old can't get a job without experience, can't get experience without a job.

unless your under 25, in which case your pretty well much guaranteed one, as a bin person, or recycling waste monitoring agent....etc.

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