Confidence levels among Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) practices about the level of future workloads remains very strong across the whole of the UK. According to the latest edition of the Future Trends Workload Index, confidence has increased by one point, standing at +34 in June 2014 compared to +33 in May 2014.
Confidence across other European countries was even greater, as Scotland topped the leader board in June 2014 with a balance figure of +50, closely followed by the Midlands and East Anglia (balance figure +48) and London (balance figure +42).
All sizes of practice are reporting positive balance figures for workload forecasts.
“The biggest growth in actual workloads by value now appears to be occurring in the commercial sector, following a long period in which the private housing sector has tended to lead the way,” explained Adrian Dobson, RIBA Director of Practice. “This appears to be a country-wide trend.”
In addition, the RIBA Future Trends Staffing Index rose significantly in June, increasing to +16 compared to +7 in May 2014. This is the highest figure for the main staffing forecast since the RIBA Future Trends monthly survey began in January 2009. The great majority of practices (94%) expect their staffing levels to either stay the same or increase during the next quarter.
Although RIBA has not yet witnessed a significant increase in actual overall staffing levels, there is growing anecdotal evidence of greater willingness to hire. RIBA appointments has seen an 80% increase in positions advertised on ribaappointments.com in the year to date, and an even higher number via their agency service.
“Architectural staff that have stayed in roles during the recession are now becoming more confident to test the market and those with the right experience are often receiving a number of job offers to choose from,” said Paul Chappell at RIBA Appointments.
The Future Trends Survey is carried out by RIBA in partnership with the Fees Bureau. All firms are encouraged to participate in the RIBA Future Trends Survey—to get involved contact the RIBA Practice Department via email.