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RIBA survey: Profession prospects flat

The RIBA has warned that there is unlikely to be any significant short-term improvement in job prospects for architects

According to the latest monthly Future Trends Survey from the institute, staffing and business forecasts have remained largely static. The results come just days after the government confirmed a sharp monthly rise in the number of unemployed architects.

Twenty seven per cent of architectural practices were expecting more work in July, up just one per cent from the previous month, while those expecting a drop in workload remained at 22 per cent.

The RIBA Future Trends Staffing Index remains unchanged at -3 in July 2011, with 12 per cent of practices expecting staff levels to drop, up one per cent from June, and nine per cent expecting an increase, compared to eight per cent in June.

Twenty seven per cent of architects reported that they have personally been under-employed in July 2011, a three per cent rise from June.

RIBA director of practice Adrian Dobson, said: ‘In their anecdotal comments, our practices continue to report intense fee competition with consequent continuing downward pressure on profit and salary levels. 

‘The bespoke housing market generally appears to continue to be the sector with the most solid work levels, encompassing high value schemes for high net worth individuals, as well as more general domestic extension and refurbishment works as homeowners opt to improve rather than move in a difficult residential sales market. 

‘Many practices are experiencing a significant impact from public sector capital spending cuts, and smaller practices report that it remains very challenging for them to overcome obstacles to access to public sector procurement programmes in general.’

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