Survey shows more landscape architects are now out of work

Landscape Institute survey highlights impact of changing job market on landscape architects.

Illman: competitive job market
Illman: competitive job market

Unemployment has risen for landscape architects with fewer permanent and more temporary contracts on offer, according to a survey by the Landscape Institute.

The percentage of members out of work has risen from three per cent last year to 4.5 per cent this year.

The downturn has disproportionately hit less experienced members of the profession, with a third of licenced members reporting that they were out of work for a least a period this year, compared to one in ten of chartered members.

While average salaries of chartered members have remained stable at between £30,000 and £39,000, those for licentiates are in the £20,000 to £25,000 salary bracket rather than £25,000 to £30,000.

Women are less likely to earn higher salaries, with less than 25 per cent earning more than £40,000 compared with 40 per cent of men. Far more women work part-time but the majority do not want to convert to full-time hours.

Around a fifth of the Institute's 4, 854 members responded to the survey.

Landscape Institute president Sue Illman said: "Everyone involved in unemployment is going to fear that keenly, but compared to other industries we're doing a bit better. We see lots of jobs advertised on our website.

"There is an extremely competitive market for work out there. We are all being battered across the head on fees. There is in general a sense of reluctance to take people on until people are clearer about the future."

The survey also revealed growth in private practice and a continued slowdown in the public sector.

More than a quarter of members surveyed said their practice had grown over the past year, with Landscape Institute-registered practices more likely to show growth.

Landscape Institute: Survey highlights

- Members on permanent contracts: 76% (2012) and 71% (2013)
- Members employed in private practice: 73% (2012) and 72% (2013).
- Members employed in public sector 2012 and 2013: 22%
- Men working part-time: 5%
- Women working part-time: 26%
- Part-time workers who want to work full-time: women 10% and men 60%
- Survey respondents: 21% of Chartered Members, 24% Fellows and 19%

- Total membership: 4, 854. Members who completed the survey: 955.

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