Cirencester College launch first Archaeology Apprenticeships in UK

Cirencester college archaeology

Cirencester College has revealed that it’s working in partnership with Cotswold Archaeology and Albion Archaeology to support the first group of Archaeological Technician apprentices in the UK.

Cirencester College Principal Jim Grant said “Cirencester College is delighted to be supporting the first three Archaeological Technician apprentices.

“Designed by employers, this apprenticeship will provide the highest level of training to enable apprentices to work on excavations and post excavation analysis, all whilst gaining a thorough understanding of key periods in British Archaeology.

“We have a great archaeology team at Cirencester College, apprentices will be supported by our Archaeology lead Aidan Scott, an experienced Archaeologist and one of our very best teachers, having previously taught in both Higher and Further Education”

Councillor Kevin Collins, Executive Member for Planning and Regeneration at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “We are delighted to welcome Tegan and Chris, our new Archaeological Technician apprentices, to Albion Archaeology, Central Bedfordshire Council’s archaeological trading unit. This new apprenticeship will be exciting for everyone involved and we are very much looking forward to supporting our new recruits on their journey to becoming fully fledged archaeologists.”

According to Archaeology Magazine, archaeology is a very good general subject. It combines both the arts and science – it demands both that you learn to handle conflicting sources of evidence and to assess scientific results, even if you do not actually achieve those scientific results yourself. It does not keep you sitting in a library or a laboratory – it takes you out into the field; and almost certainly you will have to compile a database and learn to mine it for results.

From a job perspective, you could become a rescue archaeologist, digging sites in advance of development. This means you could be employed by developers to do the archaeology necessary for them to get planning permission. Your career will be in two halves. The first ten years you will probably be actually in the field doing the actual digging and then supervising the digging. Then there are two choices ahead of you.

On the one hand you may become a researcher writing up excavation reports, or you may become a finds specialists, producing reports say on Roman pottery.

The other side is to become a project manager. This means essentially that you will become a go-between, between the developer who is your employer, and the planning officer and the digging team. This can be a very stimulating aspect of archaeology but you must be a realist. If you believe that development is all wrong anyway, then a career as a professional archaeologist is probably not for you.