With a growing number of British architecture projects being postponed or cancelled and most EU architects thinking about leaving the country since the referendum, Brexit is already having a negative impact on the architecture sector in the UK.
A recent report by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) reveals major concerns about an ongoing lack of transparency on Britain’s future relationship with the EU. Global by Design 2018, the most detailed survey of architects on the subject of Brexit, gives insights into the key trends and priorities facing the profession.
The number of EU architects who have considered leaving Britain since Brexit has increased from 40% last year to 60% in 2018. This has caused concerns about recruitment in architecture now and in the future.
In response to these concerns, the report recommended a post-referendum immigration system that continues to allow UK enterprises to access stellar architecture talent from the EU and across the globe. This would include ongoing mutual recognition of architect qualifications with the EU.
In a recent panel on the subject, Richard Keating of architecture firm Orms said that 80% of his workforce was from outside the UK, and expressed concern that his firm’s ability to access talent from outside the country would be affected. In other firms across the country, employee morale, talent recruitment, and the visa application process have become urgent questions.
Panel delegates confirmed that recruitment in architecture is at risk. Arup Associates director Jo Wright said that an important senior staff member had left the firm immediately after the referendum. Chris Hartiss, director of Squire & Partners, said that there was an atmosphere of uncertainty that was all-pervasive at both professional and corporate levels.