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RIBA student wage survey: tenth unpaid in work and men earn more

The RIBA has revealed shocking data which shows that 11 per cent of students in work placements are still unpaid and that male graduates earn more

The institute’s inaugural Student Earnings Survey of 900 aspiring architects uncovered that male students were taking home 3 per cent more than their female counterparts’ pre Part II - rising to 4 per cent at post Part II.

Meanwhile 14 per cent of students who were yet to attain their Part II qualification confessed to working unpaid, with 7 per cent who had obtained it admitting to going without a salary.

RIBA President Angela Brady said: ‘I’m dismayed by the evidence that some architecture students are not being adequately paid, or in some cases paid at all, for the work they contribute to the profession, and that female students are paid less than their male counterparts from the outset of their career.

The RIBA is determined to take action to eradicate exploitation and discrimination

‘It is totally unacceptable. The RIBA will not allow any practice contravening the Chartered Practice to retain its accreditation and is determined to take action to eradicate exploitation and discrimination of people establishing their careers in architecture.’

The findings in full:

  • The average salary for paid placements pre-Part II students was equivalent to £17,250 per year
  • The average salary for paid placements for students who had achieved Part 2 was equivalent to £23,500 per year
  • 11 per cent of students were not paid a salary in their current or most recent work placement
  • 14 per cent of students who were yet to attain their Part II qualification and 7 per cent who had obtained it were unpaid
  • Male students were earning 3 per cent more than their female counterparts’ pre Part II, this rose to 4 per cent at post Part II
  • 77 per cent of architecture students were working, either part time, full time or as a PEDR professional

In response to recommendations from the institute’s pay and conditions working group, led by former president Ruth Reed, the RIBA’s Chartered Practice criteria were amended in June 2011 to require that students undertaking PEDR-recorded work are paid at least the statutory minimum wage.

According to the institute, the RIBA Student Earnings Survey was set up to ‘establish salary information to further strengthen requirements on student employment and earnings for RIBA Chartered Practices and identify measures to support our emerging professionals’.

The RIBA Student Earnings Survey 2011-12 can be downloaded in full from  www.architecture.com/research

Factfile

The RIBA takes action against any chartered practices in contravention of the RIBA Chartered Practice Criteria, which states ‘Your practice must commit to paying at least the statutory minimum wage to architecture students working within the practice. These students must be undertaking experience which complies with the RIBA’s practical training rule, and should be completing appropriate records on the RIBA’s PEDR website as part of the accreditation criteria’.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Most practices comprise of just men with the odd woman. From my graduate class I know 1 woman that has a job but plenty of men. I don't know how it is still allowed to happen.

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