Mmegi Online :: Citizen architects struggle to find jobs
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Last Updated
Friday 14 December 2018, 17:40 pm.
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Citizen architects struggle to find jobs

The recent global economic recession that left millions of people without jobs has not spared local architects either.
By Staff Writer Fri 14 Dec 2018, 22:33 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Citizen architects struggle to find jobs








Many of them are struggling to find jobs, despite the short supply of trained architects, they say. During a press briefing yesterday, president of Architects Association of Botswana Vincent Moapare said that the problem is exacerbated by the influx of briefcase companies into the country, who employ unqualified architects to compete for jobs with locals.

"The recession has decimated the architecture profession, with firms closing or laying off large numbers of employees, architects are left jobless for months or years, and many end up leaving the profession entirely.Others are now leaving the country to seek opportunities elsewhere," said Moapare.

He cautioned that this brain drain threatens to reverse the gains the country has made. "Graduates are also finding it difficult to be absorbed into the market. This is a cause for concern to us and we will continue to engage our stakeholders to mitigate this problem.

We thus urge all corporate entities whether local or Botswana-based multi-nationals and property developers to employ the services of local architects to retain work in Botswana," he said. Moapare's revelations come at a time when government is also complaining about shortage of skilled manpower in the construction industry from engineers, architects, quantity surveyors, land surveyors and others, resulting in serious delays in completion of

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government projects.

"Our most serious challenge currently is to continue our collaboration with government for the Architects Regulation Council (ARC) to carry out its mandate of regulating the profession," he said. He lamented that the ARC faces financial challenges making it impossible to appoint a Registrar or to develop the rules and regulations necessary for regulating the architectural profession.

"The status quo means that we continue to operate in an unregulated environment. This is bad for business as anyone can operate as an architect without being subjected to rigorous scrutiny to ensure that they hold requisite qualifications and experience to serve the public," he said.

However, it is not all doom and gloom and there have been achievements made in the adoption of the Architects Registration Act of 2008, which provides the statutory framework for the registration of those wishing to practice architecture in Botswana.

AAB, he revealed, is also working with the University of Botswana Architecture Department, other design schools, and the Botswana Bureau of Standards to improve the construction industry in Botswana.Meanwhile, since its inception in 2003, the UB Department of Architecture and Planning has produced 41 graduates 2008 (4) 2009 (8), 2010 (9), 2011 (14), 2012 (6). It takes five years to train an architect.

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