Archaeology — Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:52 pm on 9th March 2009.

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Photo of The Earl of Glasgow The Earl of Glasgow Liberal Democrat 2:52 pm, 9th March 2009

My Lords, I thank the Minister for that Answer, but it does not resolve the question of the huge number of professional archaeologists who are becoming unemployed. Of the 6,500 professional archaeologists in work last year, approximately one-fifth have lost their jobs in the past six months. Some archaeological practices are likely to cease trading altogether. Is the Minister fully aware of how damaging this increasing loss is likely to be to the future of Britain's heritage? Can the country afford to risk losing so many highly educated, though underpaid, professionals to other better paid professions during this recession? Will the Government encourage, and, if necessary, assist, local authority planning departments to keep their professional archaeologists employed during this downturn in the building industry, when their services are less needed? After all, we are not talking about large sums of money.

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peter rowsome
Posted on 13 Mar 2009 11:21 am (Report this annotation)

Q: 'Can the country afford to risk losing so many highly educated, though underpaid, professionals to other better paid professions during this recession?'

A: I certainly hope so!

Surely it would not be legal to deny thousands of demoralised and poorly paid 'architects' the opportunity to retrain and take up a proper career doing something else when we emerge from the economic slump.