The Police Department of Denizli Province has run an archaeological programme for unemployed youths. Unfortunately, it may be a model for professionals’ exclusion from work rather than youths’ experience of work…
Opportunities for disadvantaged youths
Police Chief Zeki Bulut explained that they ‘initiated this project for young people, who did not finish high school, to have a job [internship]’. Ten 17-to-21-year-olds undertook a 600-hour (12-to-15-week(?)) programme of study/work at the archaeological site/open-air museum of Laodikeia/Laodicea. It is an effective programme: apparently (all of) the unemployed youths who had the internship ‘now have a [proper] job’. That is great news for those youths. However…
Opportunities to undercut professionals, exclude resistant citizens and establish a compliant workforce
Hürriyet Daily News reported/paraphrased that the archaeological excavation was organised because there is a ‘problem of finding [archaeological] workers’ for the province’s 19 ancient cities. There is not. Once, there were 6,000 (altı bin) qualified, experienced, unemployed archaeologists in Turkey; then, there were 8,000; now, there are 10,000 (on bin). Yet the qualified and experienced professionals have been left unemployed and the unqualified and inexperienced youths have been trained and employed instead.
Thus, an excellent youth training programme nonetheless raises awkward questions:
- Were the youths employed to undercut the wages of their would-be colleagues?
- Were the youths employed to exclude resistant citizens (revolting archaeologists)?
- Were the youths employed to establish a compliant workforce of grateful-yet-vulnerable workers?