Boom for architects following Labour landslide?

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Following Labour's huge win, how will this affect the outlook for the UK's architectural jobs market? Although recruitment appeared to pause during the election campaign, a number of our clients have been picking up a lot more work since we exited the recession and there is real hope the new government will create optimism within the industry. Whilst Labour's policies will take time to make a direct impact, the mood shift will be instantaneous. The Labour manifesto certainly appeared to be popular within the architecture community and should provide a much-needed boost. The main points included building 1.5 million new homes, reforming planning laws and appointing 300 additional planning officers to hopefully unblock a system that has stalled many projects.

RIBA Future Trends Survey Results - May 2024

This rising optimism on top of an improving economy should point to a positive period ahead. The results from the latest RIBA Future Trends Survey have also highlighted stronger workloads whilst staffing levels are probably a month behind the curve.

In terms of sectors, although the last couple of years have seen many of the top AJ100 firms making redundancies, these tended to be the studios working on larger housing projects that have been hit by higher interest rates. More recently, however, some of these practices appear to have witnessed improvements as workloads lost have been replaced by either luxury residential and hospitality or in many cases, international work primarily from Saudi Arabia. If UK interest rates decline in the coming months though, the stagnant housing sector should also revive.

Sadly the other comment we often hear is that all politicians are the same and although Labour has won a landslide victory, what difference will it make? Governments have targeted increased housing for decades but unfortunately rarely come close to achieving it. How quickly will the new planning officers be hired and when will the planning reforms be introduced? Hopefully, the improving economy will sustain the rising optimism until Kier Starmer can impart his ideas. 

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