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First signs of optimism, says RIBA survey

The first green shoots of recovery are being seen in the profession, with RIBA’s latest Future Trends Survey revealing an anticipated increase in work for the first time

According to figures released by the institute, only 34 per cent of practices were expecting a decrease in workload compared to 44 per cent in March. The number of practices predicting an increase in workload rose from 13 per cent in March to 18 per cent in April.

A greater number of practices reported that they are less likely to be underemployed, with 72 per cent in April compared to 69 per cent in March.

However, the threat of lay-offs has risen within the profession, with the number of practices expecting staff numbers to be cut increased from 31 per cent in March, to 35 per cent in April.

In particular, as highlighted by the Office for National Statistics, the number of women claiming jobseekers allowance is disproportionate to the number of architects made redundant.

Adrian Dobson, Director of Practice at the RIBA said: ‘The RIBA Future Trends Survey records data on the gender balance within the practices in the survey sample; the proportion of female architectural staff in the survey is higher than the overall mean based on RIBA membership figures (14 per cent), but has dropped from 28 per cent in January to 22 per cent in April offering further evidence of a disproportionate employment impact upon female staff.’

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