Green space skills: 2009 National employer survey findings, a survey commissioned by CABE and English Heritage, is the first to reveal the full extent of skills shortages in the green space sector in the UK. The report has found that 14.9% of national employers found landscape architects hard to recruit due to skills shortage. Landscape architects were also on top of the table as the hardest to recruit out of all the green space skills.
22% of respondents from the Private sector stated that it was harder to find landscape architects whereas only 8.5 of respondents in the Public Sector found it hard to find landscape architects due to a skills shortage.
Green space skills shows an urgent need to address the skills shortfall to tackle climate change. Planning, design and management are what are needed to help to adapt green spaces to a changing climate, and these were exactly the skills which employers felt their staff most lacked.
The report also identified several priorities to counter the shortage including:
- Develop and maintain a strong evidence base to make the case for investment in green space skills
- Improve the availability and quality of training, including continual professional development
- Increase awareness of the sector and the opportunities it offers, to encourage more people into the sector
Download the report at the [SOURCE: CABE]
Over the past two years with the Global Financial Crisis hit nearly every nation across the globe and as a result landscape architects where laid off in large numbers. This was hardest felt in the USA due to lack of work and collapse of the home building market.
Governments from USA, UK, Canada, Australia, China and many other countries kick-started their economies with Financial Stimulus packages which has given some firms more work but has created just enough work to sustain the staff they had kept on.
At World Landscape Architect, however I have noticed in recent weeks that results for tenders and competitions seems to appear on the web more and more frequently.
Will there be a shortage of landscape architect with economies picking up and more work coming into companies? Well if we go back to late 1990′s to mid 2000′s there were many reports of shortages of experience staff at landscape architecture firms in UK, Australia, New Zealand, UAE, North East Africa and some parts of Asia which was driving up salaries and as a recent article by Mark Smulian at Planning Resource raised the issue that CABE has fears that a shortage will occur again….
Like planning, landscape architecture has never really recovered from the 1990s recession. People left the profession or chose not to enter it, leaving a gap in experience. CABE fears a repeat in this recession and say a minimum of 550 new entrants a year are needed on landscape courses.
[SOURCE: Planning Resource]
Will there be a shortage remains to be seen but the outlook looks good for landscape architects currently unemployed with more work and projects appearing daily and the growth in sustainable design and trend of developments and cities incorporating ratings systems such as LEED ND and Sustainable Sites. Also there is a large amount of work that will be generated with the explosion on new cities in Asia and North Africa and the renewal of many towns and cities throughout the UK and USA. Therefore, if your unemployed there is hope yet and if your employed help push your local Universities and Professional Institutions to keep promoting the profession even more so during the current times of stagnant or slight growth to encourage more students to go into the profession and encourage those thinking of leaving to rethink their long term careers.
By Damian Holmes
SIDENOTE: The article by Mark Smulian at Planning Resource titled ‘Greening our cities‘ is a great article that looks at the role of landscape architects, our strengths and weaknesses.
SWA group designed the 27 acres around the base of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. The San Francisco Chronicle has a quick interview with John Wong of SWA about the project and its design.
Read the interview at the [SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle - Sausalito group creates oasis at Burj Khalifa]
Related Article – Dubai City Guide – 11 Hectare Green Oasis Envelops the foot of Burj Dubai
As part of Burj Dubai’s ‘green’ initiative, the landscaping is irrigated using a unique condensate collection system. Water condensate from the tower’s cooling equipment is recovered, providing an estimated 15 million gallons of water a year, enough to fill 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
[SOURCE: Dubai City Guide - 11 Hectare Green Oasis Envelops the foot of Burj Dubai]
DETAILS of the new £500,000 Lottery-funded playground for Paignton seafront have been submitted to Torbay Council.
The ideas by landscape architect Rob McGuiness at Bay architectural firm Kay Elliott include a timber board walk bridging the play area and offering views in both directions; earth mounds between two and three metres high with climbing nets, poles and dens; streams for paddling and a mist machine.
[SOURCE: thisissouthdevon.co.uk - Unveiled... new plans for the £500,000 play park on Green]