Over a third of UK-based architects from EU countries are thinking about leaving the country after the Brexit vote, according to the latest research from the Royal Institute of British Architects.
Released today, the RIBA Member Brexit Survey shows that over 65 per cent of British architects are concerned about how exiting the EU may impact their business.
Of those surveyed, 80 per cent believe access to skilled staff from around the world is vital to the future success of UK architecture. And as many as 40 per cent of non-British EU nationals have considered leaving the UK following the EU Referendum result.
In response, RIBA president Jane Duncan has called for the government to ensure the UK remains an attractive place to work post Brexit.
Duncan said the UK government must “address the structural challenges that threaten the UK’s attractiveness as a place to live, work and invest”, and must confirm that non-British EU nationals working and studying in the UK will be allowed to remain.
“We can’t shut our doors to talent and expect the world to open its markets to us,” said Duncan.
“The UK needs an immigration system that recognises the benefits and importance of the UK being an attractive place to work for ambitious architects from around the world.”
“It’s vitally important that the government acts to confirm that those already working and studying in the UK will be able to remain,” she added.
“We need leadership and support from the government if the UK is going to maintain and strengthen its role as a global centre for architecture, responsible for innovative and inspiring buildings in the UK and across the world.”
The RIBA has released a report recommending five key actions the UK government should take to support Britain’s architecture industry.
Titled Global by design: How the government can open up new opportunities for UK architects, the report calls for the government to address five primary concerns, as outlined below.
In order to maintain and strengthen the UK as a global hub for architecture, the government must ensure the UK:› Has access to the best talent and skills
› Signs trade agreements that open access to foreign markets
› Provides support for education, research and innovation
› Takes action to address the UK’s competitiveness crisis including infrastructure investment
› Maintains common standards and low compliance costs
“The ability to draw upon the best talent from around the world has driven the expansion of UK architecture, creating a climate which has helped it become a global centre of architectural excellence and innovation,” reads the report.
“Decisions that make it harder for the UK to train, attract and retain the best and most skilled staff will have disastrous consequences in what is a highly mobile and specialised profession with high training costs.”
Dezeen set up the Brexit Design Manifesto to support the design industry’s concerns in the wake of the EU Referendum in June 2016.
Since the referendum in summer 2016, 60 per cent of UK architects have seen work delayed and 37 per cent have reported cancelled projects.
Dezeen was told of EU citizens frantically trying to apply for UK citizenship as Britain’s departure from the European Union looms.
Former government policy adviser Rohan Silva has suggested that UK cities need to take “radical action” and introduce their own work permits so design firms can thrive after Brexit.