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Diggers' Forum report on away work and travel is out
According to the AA, it'll cost ?1200+ to learn to drive and take the theory and practical tests.

If anyone knows a student or digger with that kind of money knocking around spare, then they're probably being funded by someone else. Most students I studied with are struggling to pay the rent and eat. I know of one person on a full-time Archaeology Masters who is trying to fit it round four part-time jobs, just to stay afloat.

Yes, in this industry learning to drive would be a great investment. Trouble is, you need money first before you can invest.
Dinosaur Wrote:Have had a good rant on here before about this, it's been noticeable and much discussed for years that a ridiculously small percentage of diggers seem to have learnt to drive - it regularly results in significant operational difficulties around here if there are a lot of small jobs on, and means that often we've had to give work to people purely because they could drive rather than that they were the best people for the job. On the 'taxi-driver' front, these days I generally just don't offer people lifts if I can avoid it, after a quarter century + of taxiing, I'd have thought occasional bursts of gratitude (or possibly the odd tenner towards the petrol) would be in order, an awful lot of people seem to think they have a god-given right to transportation by those who've actually bothered to get off their a**es, save up and pass a test. And, errr, in this day and age isn't passing your test just part of growing up?

Of course, when Dino was a lad, just out of his egg, and about to become a man through the ritual of the driving test (no theory then though), cars were still powered by coal and coal only cost thruppence a ton, and there were hardly any cars on the road anyway, and Thatcher was telling us that only the feckless and workshy couldn't drive, and it were all fields round here me lad.

What is the relevance of your statement? Driving cost a fortune when I learned some time ago, it costs even more now, never mind insurance. How young graduating archaeologists are supposed to manage unless they are already loaded I have no idea, and that sort of attitude is hardly helpful. The poor bastards.
Okay, so, I think we probably have an agreement that driving is a handy skill.

So, where is my financial reward?

If you are the driver of the van / mini bus you can't even get hammerd at night.

Freddy-no-licence exclaims...."Oi, Potboiler, your falling behind, its your round.."

Potboiler replies...."but ive drank 3 pints already, and I need to be sober in the morning to drive you to work..." *

Freddy-no-licence gawfs at this, rolls his eyes, and sinks 6 more pints.

There is little reward for drivers in archaeology.

*It takes the body 1 hour to get rid of 1 unit of alcohol. A pint of strong beer is 3 units. Food for thought there drivers....
Does it all boil down to the typical problem - lack of training? As someone else pointed out, if driving is so useful can't employers contribute towards it? They can't afford it so it is reliant on the employees to have taught themselves at their own expense. Great if you have already done so, perhaps in the days when it was a little cheaper, but otherwise not so great. Does that not apply to everything else though too? How many people pay for their own training elsewhere? What if you sent in your CV and were able to add 'By the way I have my own total station/GPS/collection of shovels/finds processing lab/brewery that I am willing to allow the use of for free'? There is nothing very fair in any of this, but if someone who was potentially a real asset was given the heave-ho in favour of some tit with a driving licence (as was suggested might be happening in some cases), something is seriously wrong.
Dirty Boy Wrote:Fook me lads, you try and make some constructive comments and you get jumped on. Remind me not to bother next time!

Welcome to my world.

Dirty Boy Wrote:It therefore may be difficult to keep a database relevant and up to date, so maybe the info should be tied in specific jobs in adverts. This obviously is less use to jobs that may not be advertised and staffed tgrough word of mouth. Also, as it was only 9? Units that replied to the survey how would a useful database be compiled.

I was interested as i've a background in computing and have developed databases for firms both inside and outside of archaeology and often see people run off a cliff designing stuff like this without setting out the basics, and wanted to prompt to see if these were being considered.

Want to volunteer to help write the app or website?!
Seriously, your post did read like overtime was negotiated for each and every job -sometimes you got it, sometimes you didn't; you make your point more clearly now. Yes, some unit's T&C varies wildly according to job, but many stay remarkably consistent. Obviously its easier to capture the stable T&C than ones that fluctuate wildly, but I'd like to know that a unit varies its wage on a month by month basis. At present how do I do that?

As I outlined in my previous reply, the first step is more transparent advertising, then provide an 'app' so people can compare what they would really earn, with the possibility of a comparison website as the farthest end of the recommendation spectrum. This idea has been aired before (and Dinosaur has raised it since), and it could be an official DF website or culled from job adverts and word of mouth by someone like the dear departed Digger. Remember that wage figures have been successfully gathered over the past years by individuals (including Kevin W), so it is possible, although there are many issues with it as you say.

The key point we were trying to make is that at the moment Diggers can't compare 'real' pay rates easily due to the hidden 'extras'. We were drawing comparison with areas where the government have said it was ok to have 'light touch regulation' as the ability to compare and choose who you used for e.g. gas/water etc meant that The Market could still operate fairly. No such ability exists in archaeology which is one contributing factor to why The Market is dysfunctional. We are suggesting several constructive ways to change that. One of those (and to be honest the most unlikely) is for employers to list their wages and T&C, whether that is via the IfA, the RO scheme, BAJR or FAME. We are looking for mechanisms to support those who pay better wages, and shame those that pay terrible wages and no travel, and there are a variety of options. Talking to Diggers they want to know what wages other employers pay, and what that wage would mean to them, that's what we're trying to provide.

There were 24 employing organisations who participated (the nine figure is for those who were prepared to be associated with their answers), which obviously wasn't great, but it was about 20% of employers, with some large employers prepared to put their name to their wages. Given that this was the first piece of detailed research by the DF, and it was a very detailed (and time consuming survey), I think that was a good start.

Thanks for your feedback, we are very grateful for all comments on the report and the next steps, and you've made some good and useful points:face-approve:.
Potboiler Wrote:So, where is my financial reward?

When I had my first proper professional contract I got given the only spare contract: a driver's contract that was a whole ?300pa higher than the standard Digger contract to cover the extra hours. Unfortunately this went down rather badly with some other Diggers as I was only 16...

There are solutions to the financial reward, without demanding that someone else doesn't get paid, just because you are driving and they aren't. That is divide and conquer as Unit would say.

As someone who only learnt to drive a couple of years ago (I lived in London), I would like to agree that if you don't pass when you are young it gets harder and harder as the constant moving, job insecurity and long hours can make learning to drive, and learning to pass, very hard. That's without even thinking about the financial cost. Can I just say thankyou to everyone that gave me a lift, and sorry about the snoring.

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