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BRIGHTER OUTLOOK FOR ARCHITECTS AS CONSTRUCTION CONFIDENCE IMPROVES

BRIGHTER OUTLOOK FOR ARCHITECTS AS CONSTRUCTION CONFIDENCE IMPROVES

Having been among those hardest hit by the downturn in construction, there are more job opportunities for architects than there have been since 2008, according to the findings of the latest Hays Construction Market Overview and Salary Guide.

This movement is due in part to the growth in house building activity, which increased at its fastest pace in over two years in May1, and is also creating demand for on-site construction professionals.    

The research reveals a mood of cautious optimism in the wider construction sector, as nearly two thirds (63%) of employers say they expect business activity to increase in the next 12 months and half (58%) expect to increase staff salaries.

Skill shortages remain a problem, with 54% of employers saying they expect to face a shortage of experienced candidates when recruiting in the next year. For architecture firms, the slowdown in hiring in recent years is now creating concerns over a & lsquo;missing generation’ of architects with three to five years post qualification experience. Mid-level staff were the most likely to leave the industry following budget cuts, creating a shortage that could prove problematic for architecture firms when it comes to taking advantage of new business opportunities on the horizon.

A growing area of demand is in Building Information Modelling (BIM), a data-based approach to construction, which is having a positive impact on salaries for BIM specialists, including architects, interior designers, technicians and BIM coordinators. Language skills, including Mandarin, Russian and Japanese are also in demand as UK firms work on more international projects.

Andrew Bredin, Managing Director, Hays Construction said: “The improvement in opportunities for architects is an encouraging sign for the wider construction industry, with an increase in project-led hiring a reflection of new wins for firms. Although employers remain cautious and roles are often still temporary, these projects should translate into increased recruitment activity as projects develop. While the recovery may be tentative, the fact that over half of the employers we surveyed expect to see an increase in business activity in the next year is an encouraging sign of things to come.”

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