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ARCHIVES-NRA  August 2013

ARCHIVES-NRA August 2013

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Subject:

Re: Interns debate, Solutions

From:

Cowling Clare <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Cowling Clare <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 15 Aug 2013 09:36:04 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Unpaid internships are rife everywhere (my son recently completed a 3 month full-time one working for an MP and no, we are not wealthy - he used up all his savings).  You can't claim jobseekers allowance as you are not available for work, so you have no income at all. 
 
Clare 
 
Clare Cowling | Information and Records Manager 
Information Governance | General Counsel | Transport for London 
Windsor House, 42-50 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0TL 
T: External 020 30540202 Internal 80202 | M: 07545 200429 | E: [log in to unmask] 
 
 
Looking to improve your information management practices?  Check out the TfL Enterprise EDRMS Framework on Source 
 
 
-----Original Message----- 
From: Archivists, conservators and records managers. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Nicola Waddington 
Sent: 15 August 2013 09:24 
To: [log in to unmask] 
Subject: Interns debate, Solutions 
 
Dear All, 
We all talk a lot about whether or not internships are affordable for the candidate and whether they are fair or not for people without a private income. The same debate is live in both the museum and arts worlds too. I wonder if any research has been done into the current rules of job seekers allowance? Would the rules allow for someone to undertake a part time unpaid internship for a fixed period? If so could we perhaps  design the internships we offer to accommodate people who receive the benefit, and who could thus undertake voluntary experience without losing money? Could this perhaps be a research project for ARA, or be looked into by the Section for New Professionals? 
It could be a productive approach to an age old debate. 
Nicola Waddington 
 
 
-----Original Message----- 
From: Archivists, conservators and records managers. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Meic Pierce Owen 
Sent: 15 August 2013 09:03 
To: [log in to unmask] 
Subject: Re: Vacancy for Archives and Records Management Intern, Solutions 
 
I understand the argument being put up against this unpaid internship being offered.  I understand it but I do not agree with it. 
 
To offer an internship on its own terms is surely the business of the body offering the internship?  Equally, if someone wishes to take it up, that is surely that person's business? If it does not suit anyone, the offer will not be taken up.  It is a classic case of 'let the market decide'.  If this sort of opportunity were the only sort on offer it would be one thing, but as it is not, I suggest we climb off our high horses and allow people to offer and accept as suits them. 
 
I strongly agree that, as a profession, we need to do what we can to ensure that those at all levels earn a living wage and indeed, those of us around before the millennium will remember the appalling salaries being offered to recently-qualifieds before the then SOA put its foot down (I believe) and refused to take adverts offering under particular salary rates. 
 
I further think we should be pleased both that so many are looking to enter the Profession and that pre-course positions are available. 
 
We cannot however, get involved in the business of trying to impose quotas on academic institutions.  If people wish to study, who are we to say no?- just so long as we are not giving a false impression to people as to the numbers of jobs available. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
-----Original Message----- 
From: Archivists, conservators and records managers. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Pamela Birch 
Sent: 15 August 2013 08:05 
To: [log in to unmask] 
Subject: Re: Vacancy for Archives and Records Management Intern, Solutions 
 
Bedford BC Not Protectively Marked. 
 
 
Thanks Joseph, you summed up my feelings on this nicely. 
 
 
 
Having spent this year looking at the history of Bedfordshire Record Office I would also point out that it was an 'independently wealthy, well intentioned, do-gooder' who managed to kick start the profession of archivist (in local government terms at least) 100 years ago by founding a county record office and providing on the job training, something he continued to do until his death in 1940. 
 
 
 
Pamela Birch 
Conservator/Premises & Projects Officer 
 
Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service 
800 years of history, 100 years of service. Centenary 2013. Help us celebrate www.bedford.gov.uk/archivecentenary 
<http://www.bedford.gov.uk/archivecentenary> 
 
Open: Mon 9am-7pm, Tues, Wed & Fri 9am-5pm. Closed Thursday. 
Tel: 01234 228908 (direct line) 01234 228833 (main office) www.bedfordshire.gov.uk/archive Twitter @BedsArchives 
 
 
 
________________________________ 
 
From: Archivists, conservators and records managers. 
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Joseph Bartoletti 
Sent: 14 August 2013 18:09 
To: [log in to unmask] 
Subject: Re: Vacancy for Archives and Records Management Intern, Solutions 
 
 
 
 
I feel compelled to offer another side to this debate. Since this argument is continually used again and again, can someone tell me what profession enforces a quota on University placements? I'm going to have to say none. At the end of the day Universities are in the business of teaching and academia, nothing more. While they may have some indirect concern with the number of graduates employed six months after graduation (looks good in stats) they are not there to rig the job market. If they have turned out more quality candidates than the market can accept, well bad for some of the graduates but good for the profession. 
 
Also, 'independently wealthy, well intentioned, do-gooders' are not a new incarnation due to the current economic climate. They were in fact the cornerstones for much of the museum profession. 
 
Some direct points to Craig's 'simple solutions'. 
 
1.        Decide on a set number of students to be admitted to the 
archive schools each year. Any archives school that admits more than their quota should lose their accreditation. 
        Again, this has been stated over and over in the past. State exactly how this should be done accurately. Continually monitor the job market for anyone retiring or changing professions? Adequately gauging this year after year is not pragmatic. Again, the job of the Universities is to turn out qualified suitable candidates. Every degree / profession have people who for whatever reason go into another field and there are more people who work in fields different to their degrees than those that do. I spent eight months unemployed shortly after finishing my course and never once did I blame the number of graduates. 
I had many near misses and always lost out to experience. Certainly not the Uni's fault. 
2.        Legally define and protect the term 'archivist'. Define the 
term to mean someone  who has a recognised qualification from one of the archive schools. 
        Not possible and nor should it be. Even if it was, then what? 
Maybe instead of the term 'archivist' organizations will just use titles like 'Keepers of Old Info and Stuff'. Plus what about all those professionals who do not have a degree and have done WAY more for the profession than most with the piece of paper? I guess there's no room anymore for anyone rising up through the ranks of the profession without a degree. 
3.        Legally require all organisations subject to Section 46 - 
Freedom of Information Act to employ an archivist. 
        You're leaving out people who have specifically done records management degrees. 
4.        The ICO should produce guidelines strongly advising the 
retention of a qualified archivist in the role of an organisations designated Data Protection Officer. 
        Why? What does the qualification of archivist bring to this role? I am a qualified archivist (so my piece of paper tells me) and have a BCS Cert in DPA. I do not agree that having the former was a huge factor in earning the latter. If any argument can be made it is that the role should be taken on by someone with a degree in law not archives management. 
 
        Maybe people should stop blaming the Universities and move on to something more productive? Society has gone information mad, and so there should be no shortage of opportunities. We need to better fight the information profession's corner and prove its worth. 
 
        A good example is when a coursemate applied for a job at a school. The job advert screamed 'Archivist', but the title was far from that. Not one of the candidates who landed an interview had any experience or qualification in archives. I'm sure many more have stories similar, and while I know I don't have the answers, I do know that 'excessive' amounts of graduates is not the problem. 
 
        It should go without saying that the views express are entirely my own and not my employer's. 
 
 
Sincerely, 
 
Joseph Bartoletti 
Corporate Records Management Officer 
 
Legal and Democratic Services 
 
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