Firms set to hang on to sought-after staff

Pessimism about upcoming workloads continued to harden last month with the RIBA Future Trends index falling a further three points last month.

The new index stood at -20 with 88% of practices either seeing no change in workloads or a fall.

But RIBA head of economic research and analysis Adrian Malleson said the silver lining remained job security. “When comparing our current figures to previous downturns, one significant difference emerges: pessimism about future work has not resulted in widespread anticipation of staff losses.


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Even though work is expected to fall firms are looking to keep hard-to-find staff, the RIBA said

“In our post-Brexit environment, qualified, talented architectural staff are hard to recruit and retain. So far practices are, overall, seeking to keep staff.”

All sectors saw confidence falling with the public sector falling from -8 to -12 and private housing remaining unchanged at -17. Commercial also fell by a point to -8.

Smaller practices were the most worried with confidence falling to -25 but medium-sized and larger practice both returned scores in positive territory.

London remains the most pessimistic, posting a balance score of –32, down from –23 in September with 40% of London-based practices now expect workloads to fall.