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MELBOURNE & SYDNEY MARKET UPDATES - AUTUMN 2008
MELBOURNE MARKET UPDATE
2008 is powering along, with early indications that the market in Melbourne will remain incredibly buoyant throughout the year.
The first quarter of the year has seen the demand for skilled Architectural and Design staff remain at strong levels with consistently high requirements, similar to the last six months of 2007. This has been a result of continued strong local activity, along with a number of practices winning major offshore “mega projects”.
The commercial, hospitality, retail institutional sectors are demonstrating continued growth, with no signs of slowing in the immediate future.
HOTSPOTS…Include the much-needed Architects, Technicians and Interior Designers in the 4-8 year experience bracket; however design professionals at all levels remain in consistent demand as the jobs continue to roll on in.
Whilst the outlook remains strong, we are consistently monitoring circumstances in offshore financial markets, with the reality being that these sustained high levels appear to be unrealistic in the medium to long term. This is not to suggest a major downturn, however good sense suggests movements in this period.
Certainly there are many strong determining factors in the economy, however worldwide financial markets show a layer of fragility not seen for some time.
SYDNEY MARKET UPDATE
2008 thus far has been quite extraordinary. The majority of practices are quite optimistic about the outlook for 2008, despite all the doom and gloom in national global news caused by rising interest rates, inflation concerns and of course the stock market fallout from the US sub-prime mortgage market.
This year started out with the busiest January we have ever seen in Sydney. The number of positions listed by practices in January increased by 150% from the same time last year, and by a massive 300% from January 2006. This has been followed by a slight slowing in the market since mid-March, as concerns about the Global Credit Crunch start to impact business confidence and of course, project financing.
Pleasingly, there seem to be a good mix of local and international projects driving activity levels across the industry. Most project sectors appear to be busy; with residential, retail, aged care, hospital and hospitality/ resort projects leading the way on the Architectural front, whilst the Interiors side also looks to be in for a busy year. As always, the commercial office market is busy, along with hospitality, and to a lesser extent residential and retail fitouts.
Demand for personnel is quite widespread at the moment, with practices currently looking for staff from Graduates through to Senior Associate and Director level.
At this stage we believe that the rest of 2008 will be more of the same from a recruitment point of view – tonnes of jobs, not enough applicants and rising salaries.
OFFSHORE MARKET UPDATE
UK – FRANTIC PACE!
Our affiliate from London has put out the word that the market in the UK is continuing at its extremely busy pace! There are dire shortages across the board – experienced Architects, Architectural Technicians, Part II Assistants, CAD Draftspeople -- the works! Things are a little quieter on the Interiors side, however good opportunities still exist.
Essentially, we are told that anyone with over 3 years experience and a good portfolio will find themselves in demand.
NEW ZEALAND – STILL BUSY…
Reports from our affiliate office in New Zealand are very positive; apparently the weather has been great and as the country gears up for an election, there are still consistent demands for quality personnel across the board. In spite of there being some talk about the current world economic climate, generally speaking it seems most practices still have long-term workloads ahead. Shortages are centred mainly on the mid-level range, and are being filled where possible by people relocating to NZ and by lots of Australians it seems! Our affiliate says this has been great, but they could do with loads more!
Projects are varied, but as NZ is upgrading its infrastructure – from roads and railways to power generation - there will be a good flow on effect of work in this area.
So all in all, it appears another good year lies ahead, although there is prevailing degree of caution associated with interest rates, housing affordability and inflation that will possibly temper things slightly.
IRELAND – UPS DOWNS
Reports from our affiliate in Dublin are not so bright... It seems the residential sector has been hit quite hard and as a result, practices have slowed down on Housing and Apartment developments – to the extent that they have been compelled to let people go. On the brighter side, all other areas are still strong and the demand for quality experienced Architects and Technicians is still high.
The future, we are told, looks a little uncertain, but hopefully things will not slow down too much in the near future.
CHANGES TO 457 VISA SPONSORSHIP
Following changes late last year to how 457 Visa Sponsorships can be arranged, a degree of confusion has arisen as to what processes Practices can take when wishing to sponsor someone from an offshore background.
The changes only relate to Practices using the services of a Sponsoring Agent, which creates a “3-way scenario” of End User Company – Sponsoring Agent – Sponsored Employee. In this case, the sponsoring agent has a number of visas available for which they have pre-applied. And then sponsorship of the person occurs when a suitable offer of employment is made by the end user practice. The changes relate to the process a Sponsoring Agent must now undertake, which involves being accredited by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) and holding a Labour Agreement that is verified by DIAC.
These changes do not affect the direct sponsorship method (where the End User Practice directly undertakes the sponsorship process). And given the recent changes, this appears to be the most likely chance of success if a practice were keen to engage professionals from offshore.
These changes do not relate to travellers on Working Holiday Visas, and would only impact if a practice wished to retain the services of a traveller on a long-term basis at the expiry of the Working Holiday Visa.
For more information, please see the full version of this article in the ‘News’ section of our website:
AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW ARTICLE
In this article - “Mobile Architects with Designs on the Future” (published in the Australian Financial Review on 4th April 2008) - Chris Tolhurst looks into the benefits and drawbacks of taking your career abroad, with insights on the Architectural job market from our own Bruce Whetters.
Please see the ‘News’ section of our website:
SENIOR STAFF SALARY SURVEY
In response to the positive feedback from our previous Salary Surveys, we are currently composing a new survey to provide an insight into Director and Senior level salaries in Melbourne -- an area that is not often publicised in the Architecture & Design Industry.
The new Salary Survey will be sent to our entire database of clients with the intent of collecting the most comprehensive and accurate data possible.
FIFTEEN MINUTES WITH…
A new area of our quarterly newsletter features an array of questions (some light, some introspective) with leading industry people…
For the first of these articles, we caught up with Principal Architect, Brett Nixon – Director of Nixon Tulloch Fortey Architecture.
Nixon Tulloch Fortey is a design driven practice based in Richmond. Although only recently established, they are already achieving applause in the industry for their design-focussed work, which is primarily based in the residential and smaller commercial sectors. Definitely a group to keep a keen eye out for!
So, Brett… Why Architecture?
Architecture is ever evolving and takes a lifetime to master.
What was your first job?
Who or what inspires you?
People who are passionate about what they do.
Favourite holiday destination?
Major cities - I get bored lying on a beach.
Top 3 buildings worldwide?
- Le Corbusiers Chapel of Nôtre Dame du Haut at
- Robin Boyd’s Featherston House
- John Lautner’s Elrod Residence in Palm Springs
Best project you ever worked on?
Every project has something great about it, whether it be it’s start or it’s end.
Biggest change in Architecture over your career?
CAD & Environmental awareness
A sentence to sum up your view of ESD?
It is our responsibility as Architects to take the lead and to educate our clients and the public.
Best advice you have ever received?
My father always told me to have nothing to do with the building industry – there are days when I should have listened!
Advice you would give to young Architects?
Take an interest in the whole process of architecture. Architecture is more than computer graphics.
Mies van der Rohe said “God is in the details”… what do you say?
You can’t argue with this man.
How do you unwind?
Family, friends and my eternal quest to finish my house.
In your opinion, has the “great Australian building” been designed yet?
We live in a country of great Architects – past and present. There are many great Australian buildings.
FIFTEEN MINUTES WITH…
For the first of our "15 Minutes" articles in Sydney, we caught up with noted Architect and Director of Architectus in Sydney, Ross Styles.
So, Ross… Why Architecture?
I wanted to be an architect since I was 12. I thought it was a nice balance between art & technology. I also thought it would be a nice thing to do as you could see and experience the effects of your work - altruistically, it can have a direct & tangible effect on people's enjoyment of life.
Who inspires you?
Aldo Giurgola - a design legend & a wonderful human being.
Favourite Place on Earth?
Australian bush. I know I should probably nominate an urban space, but being in the Australian bush goes to the core of your being. It's about as close to a religious experience as you can get. It also gives you a sense of why and how our aboriginal brothers have such a personal and cultural affinity to the land.
Top 4 Buildings Anywhere in the World?
- Kimbell Art Museum by Louis Kahn (Fort Worth, U.S.A.)
- Falling Water by Frank Lloyd Wright. It's a classic. Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
- Allianz Arena, Munich by Herzog & de Meuron
- Sydney Opera House by Joen Utzon (nationalistic choice, but an international must)
Best Project You Ever Worked On?
Extension of the Princeton Art Museum - new galleries a refurbishment of the existing building (at Mitchell Giurgola Architects, Philadelphia).
Project You Wished You Had Worked On?
Parliament House, Canberra
Thoughts on Sustainability in Construction?
Advice You Would Give To Young Architects? (Or Anyone For That Matter)…
Be passionate about your work; otherwise do something else.
Resourcer / Consultant
Dwayne joined the Bloomfield Tremayne Sydney office in August of last year after a lengthy 4 years in London, where he worked in Theatre and Set Production. Having just finished a motorbike tour around India and Nepal, Dwayne has bypassed his New Zealand homeland and has settled in Australia to begin an illustrious career in recruitment!
Dwayne works as a Resourcer in our Sydney office, and can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Reception / Administration Assistant
RATE & SALARY GUIDELINES
Are you being paid according to current market rates?
We have recently updated our Rate & Salary Schedule Guidelines, which take into account not only the Award rates for Architects, Draftspeople & Interior Designers, but also incorporate current market rates that we have seen throughout the year.
So if you would like to discuss your salary, or have a pending review for which you wish to prepare, please contact one of our consultants, who will be delighted to assist you.
If you have any specific queries or require further information in respect to market conditions or employment opportunities, please do not hesitate to contact one of our consulting team for further information.
We would love to hear any feedback, thoughts or other points of view that you may have on the above market conditions, or indeed any other articles that you may be interested in us posting on our news section in the future.
Please email Jacqueline Liddicoat at email@example.com to let us know what you think!