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British Archaeological Jobs and Resources Survey of Archaeological Contractors – 1 s t May 2009

British Archaeological Jobs and Resources

Survey of Archaeological Contractors – 1 st May 2009

The second BAJR jobs survey of 60 smaller companies and “sole traders”, who employ over a thousand people or a third of those employed in commercial archaeology etc, has again shown that there are some grounds for optimism. Twenty eight per cent of companies polled say they have had an increase in orders and twenty one percent of companies are recruiting.

This has to be put into the context of the situation in December of last year and January where there appeared to be an abyss of archaeological employment. Indeed there was the spectre for the first time in 10 years that there would not be a single job advertised on BAJR. The first BAJR survey was undertaken because David and myself felt that the IFA survey told what we knew had happened but not what was going to happen. Equally we felt that our businesses did not reflect the total crisis that people were talking about.

Only 1 UK based contractor has made people redundant in the last three months but the same contractor is intending making more redundancies in the next three months. Redundancies are continuing in Ireland.

The consultancies are generally holding their own, have an increase in work (43% of companies), and recruitment is on the agenda for that 43% of companies. This is perhaps indicative of projects beginning to be re-started. The contracting units are starting to see a similar trend perhaps reflecting the time lag between consultancies being engaged and archaeological fieldwork being undertaken.

What is clear is that the situation is far from disastrous.

However; the spring is a time of year for an increase in archaeological work and development commences so it is unclear how far this increase in the amount of work is simply the seasonal norm. There is some evidence for this in that while jobs for field staff are being advertised these are relatively uncommon.

It is clear that the current trading conditions are far from easy and small companies etc face continuing difficulties not least bad debt and poor cash flow but what it is also clear is it is far less likely that we are facing total wipe out of the archaeological industry. We also note that the situation is far from easy for the many people who have lost their jobs or for new graduates. We can only hope that things do improve and more normal trading conditions emerge within six months. It also has to be remembered that the market for archaeology has more or less been expanding continually for many years and it is unlikely that this will continue in any event.

Peter Wardle

British Archaeological Jobs and Resources Raw Figures   Type of Number   Redundancy since March

British Archaeological Jobs and Resources

Raw Figures

 

Type of

Number

 

Redundancy

since March

Planned for

 

in 3 months

Increase in

 

enquiries

Increase in

 

Postex

Increase in

 

Community

Pickup of work in Short Term

Pickup of work in Long Term

Employing

new Staff

Company

Consultancy

7

 

0

0

3

0

1

3

7

3

Contracting

40

4

3

12

17

12

20

32

8

Geophysics

4

0

0

0

1

0

4

0

Other

3

0

0

1

2

2

3

1

Post Ex

3

1

1

3

Survey

1

0

0

Total

58

 

5

4

16

17

16

25

49

12

Percentages of Total

 

Type of

Number

 

Redundancy

since March

Planned for

 

in 3 months

Increase in

 

enquiries

Increase in

 

Postex

Increase in

 

Community

Pickup of work in Short Term

Pickup of work in Long Term

Employing

new Staff

Company

Consultancy

 

43%

 

14%

43%

100%

43%

Contracting

10%

8%

30%

43%

30%

50%

80%

20%

Geophysics

‐ ‐

 

25%

100%

Other

‐ ‐

 

33%

 

67%

67%

100%

33%

Post Ex

33%

33%

 

100%

Total

 

9%

7%

28% 29% 28%

43%

84%

21%

The questions asked:

1. Have you made people redundant since March 09

2. Are more redundancies planned in the next three months

3. Have you seen an increase in general enquiries in the last month?

4. Have you seen an increase in Post Excavation Work?

5. Have you seen an increase in Community Work?

6. Do you feel that the potential for work will pick up?

Short term : Longer term :

7. Are you looking for new staff

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