Architects today called on the Government to reduce the VAT rate on construction professionals’ services in tomorrow's emergency Budget in an effort to stimulate more work for the country’s architects, engineers and surveyors.
In a statement, the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) said that if urgent action is not taken by the Government, then, based on current trends in construction activity, the unemployment situation among architects is likely to get even worse still.
"Over 1,000 architects and architectural technicians – around 40% of the total number in the profession – have lost their jobs since January 2008," the statement said.
“In reality, what we have witnessed is that a whole generation of the best trained architectural professionals the country has ever seen, have been or will soon be let go, " said John Graby, RIAI Director
"This represents a massive loss to the state and our community."
The RIAI is also calling for the development of a research and development facility for the construction industry.
“Sustainable design needs to be part of normal practice in the built environment," Graby said.
“We in Ireland are already renowned worldwide for our construction expertise, and with the right investment in research and development, we could turn our industry into a leading export sector."