We are delighted to see that the front page of Historic England‘s website today (19th May 2016 – here is their news story) is publicising an excellent report that they have produced on National Infrastructure Development and Historic Environment Skills Capacity 2015-33: An Assessment which draws heavily on research data produced by Landward Research Ltd.
These data are presented along detailed information on forthcoming major infrastructure projects that has been digested from a variety of official UK government sources, coming to the conclusion that there is and will be a shortage of skilled workers in the sector.
The Archaeological Market Surveys for 2014-5, 2013-4 and 2012-3 are all referred to as the sources for information about skills gaps and shortages, together with trends in the numbers of archaeologists in employment.
Archaeology Labour Market Intelligence Profiling the Profession 2012-13 is the primary source of information on archaeological employment across the whole sector.
And the Survey of Archaeological Specialists 2010-11 is referred to for information on the numbers of archaeological specialists available.
Importantly, the document also presents valuable recommended actions, which could help to prioritise where Historic England’s support will go in the future, together with recommended actions for other stakeholders across the sector.
Following the interview and press release by Historic England’s Chief Executive that highlighted the urgent need for trained archaeologists and the effect this could have on big infrastructure projects, the report has been picked up by the media (sometimes very dramatically – the Independent considers this will bring the UK to a halt!; the story is also covered by Daily Mail and The Times, both of which consider that what will happen is that the construction works themselves will produce enormous quantities of artefacts and that there won’t be enough archaeologists ‘to examine the relics’).