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We have spoken about precarious work often on Daily Outrage, and in particular about zero hours contracts, where workers are at the beck and call of their employers, and get no guaranteed hours of work or pay.

Today we speak about something worse: not being paid at all.

We speak to archaeologist Sam Hardy about the culture of free work that has arisen in archaeology, heritage, museums and the broader cultural sector.

Many institutions, including some very high profile ones, advertise jobs for archaeologists, curators, exhibition assistants and more – for absolutely no pay. These are skilled jobs that require a qualification – and a real commitment – to perform.

Young people want to get into the industry face the prospect of getting deeply into debt to gain an expensive qualification. Having qualified, they are then expected to work for free – sometimes for many years – with no guarantee of a job.

This excludes working class people from entering the profession, as only those with money behind them can afford to work for free.

There is a twitter campaign to name and shame these organisations, using the #freearchaeology hashtag.

– Sam Hardy is an archaeologist. He maintains the websites Conflict Antiquities and (Un)free Archaeology.



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