Fit for Purpose? Skills and employability in UK archaeology

This year’s FAME Forum will consider the issue of skills and employability in UK archaeology. A university degree has long been considered an essential requirement for a career in archaeology. However, there seems to be a growing gulf between what our universities provide and what archaeological employers need.

Rising tuition fees and competition among providers have led to a growing emphasis on employability, but research shows that the fieldwork component of university degrees – never high – is declining still further.

  • How can we persuade the next generation that a career in archaeology is not just personally fulfilling but financially viable?
  • Is it the job of our universities to produce employable archaeologists? And if not, what can employers offer to develop these skills?
  • Can hard-pressed employers afford to provide structured work-based training?
  • Can they afford not to – and risk creating a generation of field archaeologists disengaged from the analytical process?
  • What can we learn from the work-based training provided by fellow employers?

Held in association with the Archaeology Training Forum, the Forum will bring together practitioners to discuss what we can do, both to attract new entrants to the profession and to develop and retain those we already have. Speakers will include Anthony Sinclair, Dominic Perring, Chiz Harward, Robin Turner, Andrew Marvell and Peter Connelly.

The meeting will take place on Friday, 13 July, at Merchant Taylors Hall, York. Admission is free to FAME and ATF members and £50 to non-members, including lunch, morning coffee and afternoon tea. Advance booking is essential – click here for further details and a booking form.

The Forum is supported by York Archaeological Trust, and admission to the Forum includes free entry to the Trust’s visitor attractions Jorvik Viking Centre, DIG York, Dig Hungate, Barley Hall and Micklegate Bar throughout the weekend.

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