CASE STUDY: MOLA – Trainee Programme and Employment Opportunities

In 2021, Amy Atkins and Claudia Tommasino launched the MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) Early Careers Archaeologist programme (Early Careers | MOLA), providing a pathway to employment in developer-led archaeology for recent graduates and those new to the sector.

Accredited by the sector’s professional body, CIfA (Chartered Institute for Archaeologists), participants embarked on a three to six month course of classroom and on-site training that aligns with archaeology sector’s National Occupational Standards. Those that passed their assessments gained the qualifications and experience necessary to continue working as archaeologists in the development sector, with all graduates offered permanent jobs upon completion.

In its first trainee programme offering, MOLA recruited 45 participants, 21 of which had no previous archaeological experience, 23 of which were previously unemployed, and 20% of whom lived local to MOLA’s Northampton office.

Situated at HS2’s Blackgrounds Farm site in Northamptonshire and working with Fusion JV, this first cohort of trainees gained experience excavating alongside established archaeologists to uncover evidence of a changing landscape and culture.  Here, local Iron Age villagers adopted Roman ways of life, adapting to and incorporating new customs and lifeways and becoming a thriving commercial centre.

The large Roman road, part of the town’s commercial focus, highlights the importance of infrastructure in the history of the Blackgrounds Farm site; this past is reflected in the new railway that will pass through site in the near future.

As the construction industry thrives and demands for a qualified workforce increase, MOLA’s trainee programme offers viable pathways for those with and without formal qualifications to join the archaeology and construction sectors.  These paid positions also provide prospects for continued employment for those who wish to continue working in archaeology, and the new-to-sector programme is particularly valuable for helping diversity the range of experiences and individuals within our workforce and the development sector more broadly.

To find out more, click the link below.

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Museum of London Archaeology

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