Latest RIBA Future Trends Survey predicts tougher times ahead for architects

Architects are set to face much tougher prospects for procuring work, according to the latest data from the RIBA’s monthly Future Trends Survey that monitors business and employment trends affecting the profession. According to the June 2010 results, practices predicted a further drop in their future workload over the next three months, particularly with public sector projects.  

The number of firms expecting workload to decrease rose by 3% compared to May. There continues to be little evidence of a recovery in employment prospects for salaried architects, with employment levels expected to remain constant at 15%, compared to 16% in May and 11% in April. Most firms were less optimistic about forecasted workload predictions across the public and commercial sectors.

Adrian Dobson, RIBA director of practice, said: “It is no surprise, given recent announcements from the government on future capital spending plans, that predictions for future public sector workloads have declined sharply this month, falling to -29 in June 2010 compared with -13 in May 2010. 

“It is disquieting that confidence about growth in the commercial sector also appears to be losing some momentum, with the balance figure this month falling to +2 from +7 in May 2010.  If this trend were to continue it would raise serious concerns about the capacity for commercial sector growth to make up for reductions in the public sector building programme.”

He said that private housing remains the most robust of our sector predictions.