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Rogers to lay off staff due to Brexit uncertainty

RSHP Leadenhall  5

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP) has confirmed it is set to lay off staff, blaming economic uncertainty caused by Brexit for a drop in its workload

Richard Rogers’ Cheesegrater-based practice said it had reluctantly entered into redundancy consultations with a ’small number’ of staff after an expected dip in turnover. 

The AJ understands the figure to be between 15 and 20 people – up to 10 per cent of the company, which, according to its 2017 annual report, employs 203 members of staff.

RSHP said the current uncertain economic climate, brought about by the Brexit vote, had led to increased delays and uncertainties on a number of UK projects.

In a statement, a spokesperson said: ’This, combined with a number of large projects reaching completion, has resulted in a predicted dip in turnover for the coming year.

’We have reluctantly concluded that we must reduce our resourcing levels to match our forecast project requirements. As a consequence RSHP has therefore entered into consultation with a small number of staff who may ultimately leave the practice.’

The firm added that those in redundancy consultation were split equally between architectural and support staff.

RSHP has previously expressed serious concerns about how the UK’s departure from the EU will affect its workforce. The practice said an increasing number of its European workers were applying for British citizenship to avoid being forced to leave.

In a statement accompanying its latest accounts, the company said: ‘[The] ongoing lack of clarity regarding the Brexit process has […] added to the level of uncertainty for architecture both home and abroad.’

Although the company posted a pre-tax profit in 2017 of £7.6 million and saw its turnover increase by £600,000 to £32.8 million, it had warned that the practice’s fee income would fall in the 2018 accounting period.


Readers' comments (6)

  • Phil Parker

    Of course, Boris Johnson, Gove and the other pro leave naïvers said nothing like this would happen. They were clueless. And they still have no answers.

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  • John Kellett

    I do hope that RSHP recover quickly but, personally knowing that large projects up to £20 million can be handled with small teams of one architect using BIM, perhaps it will see the end of large teams of 'architectural' technicians and technologists with very little if any training in architecture. The digitalisation of working lives is naturally leading to a change in working practices in every industry, allowing architects and those training to be architects to work productively without them. The new apprenticeship route to qualifying as an architect allows those with the talent to do so to retrain. The role of Architectural Assistant can then be a true career goal, with chartered status.

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  • Daniel Lacey

    John, I must admit I thought you were being sarcastic at first, then I continued reading.

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  • Frances Maria

    John, as a Chartered Architectural Technologist I find your comment that we have received little in the way of architectural training offensive. We too must undertake several years of training and then be rigorously assessed in order to achieve our status. I suggest you look at the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT) website to find out what we actually do and how we qualify. It may also help if you look at some of the universities which offer degrees in Architectural Technology so that you can see what the educational part of our training involves. Architectural Technology is the science of architecture and is a professional discipline in its own right. Chartered Architectural Technologists are considered to be equally as competent when it comes to designing buildings as Architects are

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  • Frances,
    It may perhaps be worth pointing out that the key difference between the post by John and your own is the word Chartered. A Chartered Architectural Technologist or Professionally Qualified Technician is indeed a Professional in their own right with a certain level of qualification, training, and experience, and a commitment to continuing professional development and a code of conduct. But someone calling themselves an Architectural Technologist or technician MIGHT not be. I am happy to be corrected if I am wrong, but to my mind that distinction is an important one as significant as the difference between an Architect and an Architectural Designer.

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  • Phil Parker

    Anyone who believes BIM is the answer to anything other than static, undeveloped, mediocre design needs their head testing.

    Seeing an architect drawing detailed door handles three weeks into the start of the project is murdering the art of architecture. Why do it? Because the QS, via the Project Manager wants an early ironmongery draw-down because he personally screwed it up on the last project he worked on. BIM will save him the embarrassment of it happening again. Wonderful.

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