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Subject: Unpaid positions

Unpaid positions

From: Mark Clarke <markey>
Date: Thursday, December 3, 1998
Victoria Bunting <cbunting [at] massed__net> writes:

>In the same vein, I question the curricula of conservation training
>programs in the current economic climate.  There are not many new
>jobs being created in this field, and those that are in existence
>could be filled by the currently qualified conservators for the next
>20-30 years, or longer.

This is not unique to conservation--law is another field where
aspirants considerably outnumber positions. One could adopt the
unpleasant "free market" view that it creates a huge pool from which
employers may take the cream; and  that like underpaid nurses or NGO
workers, conservation could be viewed as vocational or as an
enjoyable occupation--I mean, conservators DO enjoy work more than
(say) most accountants I have met.

As such, courses cannot be criticised for creating enough places to
fill the demand--after all, how many of *fine art* students will
become professional artists? (Each student asked would answer, "ah,
but that one will be *me*!")

Some years ago, in frustration, I asked Victoria Bunting's very
question to a (genuinely responsible and caring) Dean who answered
that the Conservation course was there to provide a "good general

This is true, *but* the dishonesty is that it was not
*sold/advertised/marketed& as such, but as vocational training.

(Interestingly the tax man agreed with the Dean--the fees for a BA
course in conservation do not qualify for tax relief as it does not
count as "vocational training".)

Mark Clarke
+44 1223-354520

                  Conservation DistList Instance 12:50
                 Distributed: Tuesday, December 8, 1998
                       Message Id: cdl-12-50-006
Received on Thursday, 3 December, 1998

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