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Southport - support or betrayal?
I think there is also another consideration here, that many people can't afford to be volunteers. Of course you can sign on and pretend you are actively seeking employment - (because as far as I remember, even doing over a certain amount of voluntary hours a week - more than 26? - meant you were considered unavailable for work), but how else would you fund yourself? Maybe only with parents or a partner that can afford to keep you, or some nice situation where you don't have to pay rent/mortgage? The MSC scheme was good in that it allowed entry into archaeology for a wide range of people from different backgrounds, and I think archaeology benefited from this; I had one really excellent boss that had been a dockworker in a former life.

I'm all for community archaeology, but not for an archaeology that as a whole uses free labour to cut costs (or attempt to cut costs). A(n even) greater use of volunteers within commercial archaeology brings with it the possibility that those who hold paid positions will basically be those that could afford to get there, i.e an elite well educated/gained enough experience through extensive volunteering group with moneyed backgrounds, which goes against the whole idea of getting more people involved with their heritage.

I write with an awareness that I got into archaeology by time on a dole scheme, and then through volunteering on a couple sites of sites until I had enough experience to get paid work, so I know I almost don't have a leg to stand on; I see volunteering on sites as a necessary evil, but not something that should be actively encouraged!

Sorry if that's a bit a hurry!
Quote:why dont you ask Taryn?
Have done, and look forward to a reply. I have explained that any reply will be republished here. Though she won't be back in the office until 26th April
I have also sent a copy to the southport email on the IfA website

AS Sith says...

Quote:If this is Archaeology's best shot then we're all doomed because no one in their right mind will take us seriously as a 'profession'.
Great! Volunteers do lots of the work and get nothing but the right to participate, clients pay less, units still put in their invoices but get less. This is progress?
I have had the chance to read the full report... and it is bold and progressive... but some areas need clarification - as it does indeed say... the guidance of the use of volunteers already in place will remain. thus creating a level playing field... BUT to do so, the funder will need to cough up more.

This is one part of the whole, but it is a worrying part.
Quote:You can read the full draft report here: and it is open for consultation until early June.

... and for those that can't be bothered here are a few of the points

Quote: 3.1.2. It is also recognised by most if not all that we could do much better. ???? Some have gone as far as saying that the shortcomings are evidence of market failure in commercial investigation and interpretation of the historic environment, and only radical restructuring of the market will provide solutions. ????. Others consider that the necessary improvements will be made if more mature reflection on the role of the historic environment professional in society leads to a change in culture and behaviour.

3.1.4. ???? An unintended consequence was that opportunities for involvement with threat-led archaeological work reduced, and an overdue increase in attention to the needs of health and safety and insurance policies has put in place yet further (frequently unnecessary) obstacles. But the pendulum is swinging back now, so here too proposals to do more for the public are working with the grain of the sector and of policy.

Health and Safety and Insurance are unnecessary obstacles !!!!!!!

Quote: 3.1.7. Public participation alongside commercial organisations during and after development can be one of the most treasured opportunities to take part at the cutting edge of discovery.

3.1.8. While there will always be projects where public participation is not appropriate, many obstacles can be overcome by
? historic environment advisors including a requirement for public participation in the brief, where appropriate

That's right Companies will be forced to use volunteers as a requirement of the brief !
This proposal should be given due consideration, and as objectively as possible. It's great the proposal has people talking and thinking critically about it. Our profession does need to be shaken to its foundations and changes could have a good outcome if this is undertaken holistically and with proper consideration. Hopefully we'll hear more from BAJR once he receives replies from his enquiries. Until then, I'll hang fire.
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.
Having read through the draft, I got the distinct impression that "public participation" was not limited to the use of volunteer labour; various posts in this thread appear to have made that assumption.
THis is the problem... so I hope to hear back with some more info. Don't get me wrong the substance of the document is quite good... when you read it. and it does admit to the failures of the past. What is needed is some clarification of what is meant. the we (as a BAJR fed collective can respond. Though I was a bit miffed about teh pay and conditions thing though... personally.. BAJR has done some good in this respect. but hey ho!
Having now read but probably not digested the Southport manifesto I cannot help but think the world has moved on. It seems like a beautiful dream a palatial sandcastle being built in front of an advancing high spring tide. With archaeology and local Government services being cut Universities cutting humanities courses and relaxation of planning laws there are different far more urgent battles to fight. I won't worry about volunteers taking over my job ( a precarious situation-already) but I will worry about this Government trashing my heritage and all those hard fought for rights and services we all use to take for granted
Power to the people, and long live the revolution
Well said Wax... Lets fight

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