MiBACT seeks collaborators...with 15 years of professional experience (or alternatively faculty)

There is a lot of discussion about the MiBACT selection at the end of the year: the ministry is in fact looking for superintendency staff, but with 15 years of experience (or, alternatively, university professors even without professional experience).

The Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities is looking for external collaborators (archaeologists, architects, site technical assistants, engineers, art historians, accounting technicians) for superintendencies ... with 15 years of experience. The unique selection notice was published a few hours ago and will expire on January 25, but it is already causing much discussion among insiders precisely because of this not-so-nimble barrier to entry.

It is, of course, a position that requires expertise: collaborators are called, the notice states, to “support the activities of the Superintendencies in order to ensure the performance of the functions of protection and enhancement of cultural heritage in their respective territorial areas of competence.” The collaborator, in order to participate in the selection, must have multi-year experience in the fields and areas reported for each professional figure. The fact is that this multi-year experience is, precisely, fifteen years for profiles requiring a bachelor’s degree (archaeologist, architect, engineer and art historian), while it drops to eight for site assistants and accounting technicians. In addition, at least three years of experience in collaborative positions with public administrations is also required for all profiles requiring at least fifteen years of experience. The required experience concerns, for archaeologists and art historians, activities such as documentation, cataloging, expertise, evaluations, estimation processing, museum enhancement, exhibition layouts, realization of educational activities, while for architects we talk about knowledge of administrative procedures, coordination of public or private construction sites, drafting of safety plans, and others. The experience requirement drops, alternatively, to ten years (including two as a collaborator of a public authority) if the candidate has a PhD.

Paradoxically, work experience is not required instead (in this case for the archaeologist and art historian profile) if the candidate is a university professor in related subjects (archaeological and art-historical disciplines), and in this case a small waiver is also granted on the qualification which, the notice says, “can also be in different fields” than those required by the requirements. And many wonder why therefore a university lecturer, who often has no experience “in the field,” can have such a discount on professional experience.

The main accusation made by the grassroots is that it is a selection that excludes young people: considering that normally a degree program is completed at 24-25 (to which three more years of doctorate are added) if one has caught up with all the exams, except in exceptional cases the notice is precluded to anyone under 39 years of age. A measure of the paradox lies in the fact that, for example, the current director of the Archaeological Park of Paestum, one of the most important archaeological sites in Italy, at the time he was appointed director (he was 34 years old) could not have participated in a similar selection because he had finished his doctorate five years ago and therefore had not yet gained ten years of professional experience.

It must be said that the salaries are not low: we are talking about 32 thousand euros for figures who are required to have a bachelor’s degree and 25 thousand for technical figures, for a one-year assignment. The remuneration will be disbursed following the reporting of the activity carried out by the collaborator, after verification by the Head of the Office or other official delegated by him, upon presentation of an invoice by the professional who, therefore, must have a VAT number. Collaborators who will be given the position of single procedure manager may be awarded an additional compensation of 8 thousand euros per year. The notice, moreover, has been centrally imposed on all Superintendencies in Italy, which will therefore necessarily have to choose collaborators from a very small pool of people with very long experience and university professors.

In short, the notice has been online for only a few hours but the judgment of the grassroots, especially the younger generation, is already quite clear. Very critical is the association Mi Riconosci: “We had already objected to the fact that, with the August Decree, it was decided to provide a shower of collaborative positions instead of proceeding with competitions and hiring, thus implementing a measure lacking any foresight or planning,” explains Flavio D. Utzeri, activist and archaeologist. “The requirements of the recent notice go far beyond that. Instead of using the six-month collaborations to get the most capable people to work regardless of age, allow the many and many to have an income, and at the same time insert new forces into the ministries, completely arbitrary criteria are imposed. These requirements cut off two or three entire generations of professionals from getting tenure.” That is why the association calls for the withdrawal of the notice.

Image: the MiBACT headquarters

MiBACT seeks collaborators...with 15 years of professional experience (or alternatively faculty)
MiBACT seeks collaborators...with 15 years of professional experience (or alternatively faculty)