What is the outlook for architectural jobs in 2017?

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As 2016 draws to an end, we start to wonder what is in store for the year ahead. I’ve worked in architectural recruitment for over 16 years and been through the many ups and downs of the cyclical construction sector but this year certainly threw up some of the biggest job market shocks that I have seen. Previously market sentiment has been influenced by terrorism, wars and financial disasters, but 2016 has been the year of political change. 

The year started with an incredible number of jobs and demand for architectural staff from Part 2s to more strategic Director level posts was particularly high. After the referendum, although many practices were still very busy, confidence was lost in hiring junior staff who required training and senior level positions were put on hold until the outlook became clearer. Throughout this period, however, demand for Project Architects with around 5 years post part 3 remained strong. Whilst visiting many of our clients, it was also notable how many cranes were still going up. The requirement for more housing is an incredible challenge and will surely provide a large percentage of practice workload for years to come.

According to the Deloitte Office Crane Survey, central London office construction is also at an eight year high due to a rapid increase in refurbishment work.

Although large infrastructure schemes like Crossrail near completion over the next couple of years, yesterday's Autumn Statement allocated further spending to the sector with the aim of limiting the impact of Brexit. 9B is currently recruiting Project Architects for one of the UK's leading infrastructure practices and is an area we anticipate strong growth in opportunities. This is also a sector where British practices have a fantastic exposure overseas and offer great opportunities for Architects looking to work on large international projects. Another firm we are working with has a number of Airport schemes across the globe and seeks a particularly design orientated Architect.

The increases in stamp duty have certainly brought about a slowdown in the number of roles working on London's super-prime residential, but this is a sector that remains incredibly resilient and 9B still seeks architects with relevant experience. These roles, however, are now generally with firms already established in the high-end sector rather than new practices entering the market and looking to buy-in expertise.

For practices across the UK, there is a sense that following the referendum, they have held off for as long as possible on recruitment but have now reached a point where a backlog of work has built up and hiring new staff has become urgent. 9B has recently received an influx of new opportunities including:

Experienced Part 2s with strong Vectorworks : London

Technical Architects with strong Revit : Bristol

Residential Architect : Oxfordshire

Design Manager : Central London

Although it is impossible to say how negotiations with Europe will go or what effect Donald Trump might have on the markets, if the last few weeks are anything to go by, 2017 is looking far more encouraging than previously expected.

If you are considering a new role in the new year and would like to discuss your options further, do please give 9B a call.

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