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RIBA survey shows rise in staff levels at UK practices

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Staff levels at UK practices have risen by six per cent in a year according to RIBA’s latest Future Trends Workload Index.

Confidence in the architecture profession has continued to strengthen as the number of architects employed at UK practices rose year-on-year to April 2015.

According to RIBA only 1 per cent of participating practices in the survey anticipate that they will be employing fewer permanent staff in three months’ time.

The monthly survey of the profession showed that overall levels of optimism remained unchanged at +35 in April, with practices in London and the South East the most confident about the medium-term workloads.

Private housing sector workload forecast increased to a +38 index rating, remaining the best performing sector in the industry. However confidence in commercial sector workload falling slightly to +15 and the public sector forecast also decreased tin April, down to +3.

Meanwhile the community sector experienced a significant decline, down to -3 in April from a +9 the previous year.

RIBA Director of Practice Adrian Dobson said: ‘The overall picture is still one in which confidence levels among architects about future workloads are high. The rising Future Trends Staffing Index indicates a strong feeling that the current market for architectural services is stable or growing for the vast majority of practices.’

There is widespread reporting of intense fee competition

‘However, there remains widespread reporting of intense fee competition in many sectors, along with tight profit margins. The decline in the community sector forecast is somewhat disappointing, while the fall in the public sector forecast may reflect on-going uncertainty about future public sector capital spending.’

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