Page last updated at 07:52 GMT, Tuesday, 31 March 2009 08:52 UK

400 architecture jobs go in year

builder
The job losses are linked to the downturn in the construction industry

Four hundred jobs in architect practices in Northern Ireland have been lost over the last 12 months.

Staff have either been made redundant or not replaced since the downturn in the construction industry began.

The figure represents 20% of the workforce. One hundred and twenty were architects, the rest were administrative and technical staff.

The Royal Society of Ulster Architects (RSUS) surveyed every architect in Northern Ireland.

Around 30% said there was not enough work. In the Republic of Ireland the situation is said to be worse with a Royal Society of Irish Architects survey showing 40% of people in practices have lost their jobs in the last year.

Because it's been small numbers spread across quite a wide area, I don't think it's come to people's attention but it has been quite severe
Dawson Stelfox, RSUS president

"We're very much at the front edge so as new projects start to slow down, and the money isn't there for developers from the banks, architects tend to get hit fairly quickly," said Dawson Stelfox who is RSUS president.

"It's been happening in ones and twos and threes right across Northern Ireland over the last nine months, but now we have the figures.

"They show that it's been worst out in Fermanagh and Tyrone, and in particular in relation to small firms which would have worked on schemes with smaller builders and developers and that work has stopped very quickly.

"And because it's been small numbers spread across quite a wide area, I don't think it's come to people's attention but it has been quite severe."



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