Angela Brady threatens to name and shame architects offering internships with low or no salary

Architect practices that expect junior or trainee architects to work for nothing to gain experience could be named and shamed by incoming RIBA head Angela Brady.

An investigation should be carried out into who exactly is doing this

Angela Brady

Brady, who this week won the vote to take over the RIBA presidency from incumbent Ruth Reed, said practices that offered unpaid or poorly paid internships were “disgraceful”.

Brady will become the 74th RIBA president after securing backing from figures such as Sir Terry Farrell, Lord Rogers and Piers Gough. She has lost no time in courting controversy The Brady Mallalieu Architects partner said she would issue a warning to firms offering such positions, but that ultimately they should be named and shamed if they did not improve their employment practices.

She said: “It’s a really big problem, as architects have accepted lower fees and are expecting people to come in and work for nothing. I think a proper investigation should be carried out into who exactly is doing this. There should be a naming and shaming.”

She said some architects were bidding for work at very low fee levels, meaning jobs could not be properly resourced without exploiting junior or trainee professionals.

“People are breaking EU law here and it’s going to be against RIBA’s code of conduct. And people who are not paying are gaining an unfair competitive advantage over those who do.”

Brady will take up the RIBA role in September 2011 after securing nearly half the vote, beating challenges from Richard Parnaby and Roger Shrimplin. She has long been an enabler at design quango Cabe and also said she would use her presidency to defend the body from impending government cuts, and any plans to make it earn more money from selling consultancy services.

She said: “The government would be very foolish to cut too hard. Design review is fantastic, but there could be perceived conflicts of interest if people have to pay for it.”

Quick-fire Brady

Qualified 1984
Practice Brady Mallalieu Architects
Key schemes Ballymore’s Mastmaker Road
Presidential priorities Getting architects to become more socially and politically engaged; asking members what they want from the RIBA; championing smaller practices; making the profession talk to the public