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edited April 2008 in architecture
Dear forum members.
I was reading the Monday’s Age and noticed an article by the 'property editor'. Name is unimportant but by pure speculation, probably an ex real estate agent. It was an article bemoaning the acute skills shortage in the building industry which is already delaying the construction of many project's but is projected to get worse with many retiring and or fleeing to WA and Singapore no doubt. The flow on affect was that the housing crisis is set to worsen.

The journalist was referring to a recently released survey that was obviously an open question type survey where one is asked to, by way of opinion, list in order of importance the most critically short to the least. The journo then constructed his article around builders and engineers (surveyors and town planners not mentioned) and project managers all of whom rated for between 25% and 45% of respondents. Right at the end of the article, in a barely enunciated sentence that was virtually a postscript, the one trade that more than 50% of respondents cited as critical was "shop draftsmen".
In the great Australian tradition of understated ignorance, drafting and design is still of no consequence to this 'spokesman', who is also ignorant of demographics it seems, even as he is quoting the evidence from the horses mouth.
I am going the go out on a very short limb here and say that i am willing to bet that in the manner of all simplistic surveys, that architects and designers were lumped into the category of "shop draftsmen" in the same way that I bet town planners and landscape architects were lumped in with surveyors. They probably didn't get a mention because they are even less worthy of existence than designer draftees.
Am I wrong to be annoyed that the profession of design is so belittled in this country that 'shop draftsmen' I know definitely includes designers and probably not just a few architects. I have heard repeatedly from in trade professionals and council officers that designers and architects are light on the ground and so to town planners and landscape architects.
Why is designing and drafting so belittled, that a journo can paraphrase a survey screaming out that that trade is THE MOST cited as in critical shortage and yet practically dismiss it for his sensationalist article of impending doom for the housing industry, with a truncated footnote. ??? Agog looking emoticon!!!

Any more thoughts on this issue?


  • edited 10:07PM
    I would have interpreted 'shop draftsmen' as being those how do shop drawings for fabricators. Maybe the author just wasn't able to quantify what the shortage of architects/draftspeople is? In the offices I've worked for, a staff shortage just means that we ask for longer to document - so the project takes longer to get to construction - but may not register as an industry shortage. I think the best indicators of architect shortages are the employment pages, poaching, and rocketing salaries. Do you have a link to the article Simon?
  • edited 10:07PM
    I think you may be right Peter. (blush, blush)
    The author is Eli Greenblat and the survey was by the Master Builders Asscoiation. It was in the AGE 14/4/08.

    Still, I am relentless in standing by my prejudices, but I'll be more careful who I pick on. Sorry Mr Greenblat. I read your arcticle about four hours before I posted the above and wrote it in referance to my memory of what had been written in my initial rushed reading of the article. I forgot the authors name and then thought "oh well that's not important" and then forgot who had commissioned the survey and thought "oh well that's not important either". I stand humbly corrected and promise to be more grown up next time.

    Now on with my prejudices.
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