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Diggers Forum and TAG

Some thoughts from TAG by Chiz....

Quote:I’m just back from three days at TAG in Liverpool. I presented a short paper on simple, affordable and effective training methods for site staff as part of the Diggers' Forum session, the paper will be published in full next year and the DF is planning on publishing all the papers from their session in some format. An earlier version of my presentation is available on the FAME website:

The rest of TAG was the usual mix of sessions on theory, research and practice (although it didn’t seem very ‘TAGy’ this year, no sessions on post-processualism in Star Trek…) and catching up with old friends, and meeting new ones.

Highlights for me included an excellent keynote speech critiquing reflexive archaeology and multivocality at Çatalhöyük by Shahina Farid, a paper on oral history and industrial period archaeology by Kerry Massheder, Anglo-Saxon cremation pots as brewing vessels by Gareth Perry, Viking Age archaeology by James Barratt, salt-making on the Atlantic coast and the EcoSal Project by Andrew Fielding, and Michael Nevill on Industrial Archaeology, databases and Grounded Theory. I’m looking forward to next year’s conference at Bournemouth.

Affordable and effective training methods for site staff

Do you believe it is affordable? and possible?
or even overdue!

Perhaps you actually do it already?
My key point was that there is already a suite of ways of reaching all site staff with site training (rather than just the select few) and that there are people out there doing this. But they are usually dedicated individuals who are not being given any extra time/pay for this. The small amount of time it takes to do all this needs to be built into the costings in order to get better work that will pay for the time spent. It doesn't have to be a truly formal thing, but the need to train staff does need to be recognised, and the value of training needs to be recognised and some time set aside for it. Training is an all-round benefit, everyone wins, and it neednt be expensive.

The idea of a skills passport is also not new -David was involved in one such scheme, I'd suggest a simple scheme that is carried by the Digger, and is essentially a validated CPD log. This could 'plug in' to company appraisal schemes so you don't have to start from scratch as every new job. Then judge potential staff on validated experience rather than how long they have been employed....

The Diggers' Forum will be shortly launching an online survey on CPD and training similar to our Away Work survey. This should give us a real insight into Digger's experience of training and CPD.

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