New survey figures out today show positive signs of job prospects for Welsh graduates and young professionals looking to progress a career in architecture.

Almost a third (29.7%) of architectural firms surveyed by SpecifiedBy, the specification-led marketing and product data specialist, say they plan to hire either graduates and/or those with 2-5 years’ experience in the next three to six months – more than any other experience category, making up  77.5% of planned new starters for those firms that are looking to hire.

Regionally, firms hiring in Wales and East Midlands demonstrate the greatest desire to bring on new graduates or those with 2-5 years’ experience, with 100% pointing to this level of experience. Figures remained high in London and the South East, where the highest concentration of architecture firms are based, as 80.2% of those that are hiring also sought this level of experience. Other regions that registered above the national average (77.5%) include Northern Ireland (83.3%), Scotland (81.8%) and West Midlands (80%).

Of the firms that are hiring across all experience categories, the most opportunities are with those that operate in the residential sector (71.39%), followed by commercial (50%) and education (26.9%). While there are fewer opportunities to work at firms in the environment sector (14.2%), this is also the sector that had the most plans to make new hires in the coming months, at 63.5%.

Sectors that have been reportedly hit hardest by the pandemic, such as retail and hospitality, demonstrate a level of buoyancy with 43.4% and 50% of architectural firms operating in these sectors looking to make new hires, respectively. Over half (52.5%) of architectural firms operating in the transport sector are also seeking to hire.

The findings are from SpecifiedBy’s first ever industry barometer which tests the temperature of the industry and provides regular insight into market perceptions from architects by leveraging responses from what is the largest network of architects, specifiers and product manufacturers in the UK. New figures will be released to identify trends and address topical industry issues.

Commenting on the survey, Darren Lester, founder and CEO of SpecifiedBy says: “With economic conditions proving to be extremely challenging, the industry’s appetite for hiring graduates or those starting out in their career is incredibly reassuring. Our research gives hope not just to budding architects who, like millions of other graduates right now are facing one of the toughest job markets in decades, but also to the wider economy and ancillary trades the architecture industry supports.”

The survey shows that 47% of architectural firms believe taking on graduates will give them fresh ideas and thinking in other areas. More than a third (39%) say they would benefit from gaining new skill sets in digital knowledge, while 29% say graduates would help them improve workplace culture. In addition, 60% of architectural firms admit the main benefit to hiring graduates would be to shape and develop talent from the beginning of their careers, which suggests they would only be looking to retain graduates for the long-term.

Darren finished: “Many architectural employers are still open. They are investing in the workforce of the future and recognise the huge value young talent will bring to their business.”

The SpecifiedBy Architects Industry Barometer surveyed 903 architects.