On 2 November 2013 Diggers' Forum and Prospect held an open conference to discuss the twin issues of pay and training in archaeology. The conference heard papers from a range of perspectives and there was lively discussion of the issues between audience and speakers. Antony Francis (Prospect) summed up some of the issues around low pay, and questioned whether competitive tendering was the right model for archaeology in the UK; Kate Geary (IfA) looked at the possible effects a Chartered IfA could have on pay and training and the need for involvement across the profession, whilst David Connolly (BAJR) outlined the new BAJR Skills Passport. Chiz Harward (Diggers' Forum) introduced some initial results from the Diggers' Forum survey on CPD and Training, and Dominic Perring (Archaeology South-East) examined ways that we can remodel our work so that it has value -for both us and the clients. The papers have now been published in an online pdf (see below).
As well as writing up their papers the speakers were each asked to set out some positive aims, and also to identify potential obstacles, to help Diggers' Forum and Prospect work up a series of action points, and campaigning areas. Recently FAME, Prospect and the IfA have also issued a joint statement which has identified a series of principles and aims; the Diggers' Forum/Prospect aims should be seen as an addition to the joint statement aims, and are a mix of fairly simple proposals, and wider lobbying themes. We hope that at least some of these aims will be achievable fairly quickly and will make a positive difference to our profession.
Key to all our work is the involvement of a wider cross-section of the profession, and the engagement of more individuals in our work -whether that is on Diggers' Forum Committee, or as Prospect reps. Without more active membership both Diggers' Forum and Prospect will struggle to achieve positive change. We hope that the papers, discussion and aims set out in this proceedings will help highlight some of the issues and debates that are taking place in the profession, and will encourage more archaeologists to get involved in making archaeology a better profession for all its members.
The proceedings are available here