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Irish graduate architects face job famine

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The president of the RIAI (Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland) has warned Ireland’s young graduate architects that they face a job famine because of the property downturn.

Sean O’Laoire (pictured) told The Sunday Times that despite the formation of three new architectural degree courses in Waterford, Cork and Limerick, Ireland will be unable to cater for the influx of new graduates.

‘It’s an ironic situation,’ said O’Laoire. ‘This is the first generation of architects who assumed they would get work, but even with the best will in the world, companies cannot afford to employ them.

‘Historically, if this happened architects would travel to hotspots around the world to find work, but because of the global situation there now aren’t that many.’

It is understood that the RIAI will set up a centre for unemployed architects to help them get collaborative work, enter competitions and give them a ‘general working environment’.

Maire Henry, head of architecture at the Waterford Institute of Technology, said: ‘We’ve had lots of students ringing us saying that their work experience placements have fallen through because companies are letting people go, and we have qualified architects ringing us wondering if there’s teaching work available.’

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