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Archaeology Labour Market Intelligence: profiling the profession

IfA has carried out a number of projects at 5 year intervals, designed to gather information about everybody working in archaeology and the historic environment. Most recently this work has been undertaken by Landward Research Ltd. Every organisation that employs or commissions archaeologists, and others who work in the historic environment in the UK were invited to contribute. Questionnaires were sent to employers and self-employed professionals, asking them to submit data on a pre-determined date. The results of these projects contribute to the personal development of individuals and can assist organisations and the profession in planning for the future.

Profiling the Profession 2013/2013

The 2012/2013 report was undertaken by Landward Research Ltd and further information and the report can be found on their webpages.

The economic transformation since 2007-08 significantly affected employment in archaeology, resulting in the sector being considerably smaller in 2012-13 than it was in 2007-08.

With an overall response rate of 224 from a population of 511 potential respondents contacted, at a confidence level of 95% this level of response is accurate to +/- 4.9%.

For the final report, please follow this link.

Profiling the Profession 2007/08

Archaeology Labour Market Intelligence: Profiling the Profession 2007-08 is the most recent project. Over 2000 employers and individual archaeologists were asked to submit data for their organisation as it related on August 13 2007.

The Institute for Archaeologists was funded to undertake this project by the European Commission’s Leonardo da Vinci II fund, English Heritage, Historic Scotland, Cadw: Welsh Historic Monuments and the Environment and Heritage Service (DoE Northern Ireland).

Profiling the Profession 2007–08 is part of a wider project, Discovering the Archaeologists of Europe, which is collecting data on archaeological employment in ten European countries, with funding from the Leonardo da Vinci II fund. The European project will contrast employment in the different countries and examine the opportunities for and obstacles to individual archaeologists’ employment in countries other than their own.

Authors: Kenneth Aitchison (IfA) & Rachel Edwards (Arboretum Archaeological Consultancy).
Publication date: 2008.
Published by: Institute of Field Archaeologists

Profiling the Profession 2002/03

Similar to the more recent project, this was a survey and assessment of employment within professional archaeology in the UK. It aimed to identify, collect, quantify and disseminate labour market information on the archaeology sector. For employers, it provided comprehensive, up-to-date information to aid business planning and improve organisational performance and competitiveness. For individual archaeologists it also provided information that identifies their own position within the profession, and can inform their own personal career decision-making, such as

  • information on training needs, skills shortages and skills gaps
  • details of the nature and extent of the archaeology sector, including accurate employment figures
  • information on occupations including potential recruitment and career progression difficulties
  • labour market trends and issues including training investment and supply and other financial, business and staffing issues.

This report addressed the whole of the archaeology profession and included volunteers (unpaid staff) along with those in paid employment.

Authors: Kenneth Aitchison (IfA) & Rachel Edwards (Arboretum Archaeological Consultancy).
Publication date: 2003.
Published by: the Cultural Heritage National Training Organisation.

Profiling the Profession: a survey of archaeological jobs in the UK

The first profiling the profession was the first comprehensive survey ever conducted into archaeological employment in the UK. It was undertaken with seven objectives:

  • to identify the numbers of professional archaeologists working in Britain
  • to analyse whether the profession is growing, static or shrinking
  • to identify the range of jobs
  • to identify the numbers employed in each job type
  • to identify the range of salaries, and terms and conditions, applying to each job type
  • to identify differences in employment patterns between different geographical areas
  • to help those seeking to enter the profession

Author: Kenneth Aitchison (Landward Archaeology).
Publication date: 1999.
Published by: the Council for British Archaeology, English Heritage and the Institute of Field Archaeologists.

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