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RIBA President's initial response to the Future Architects Front open letter from students and architectural assistants

Our initial response to the Future Architects Front open letter

11 February 2021

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has given an initial response to the Future Architects Front open letter from students and architectural assistants.

RIBA President, Alan Jones, said:

“Junior staff and students are the future of our profession and I am very concerned to hear reports of their personal experiences working in practice. I have been in touch with representatives of the Future Architects Front group, and we are on standby ready to meet with them. The pandemic has disproportionately impacted those in their early careers and we are giving careful consideration to what more the RIBA can do to help.

Any form of exploitation is completely unacceptable. The RIBA is unequivocal that all members and chartered practices must uphold the standards set out in our codes of conduct and practice, including a duty to provide colleagues and employees with a fair, safe and equitable working environment. Our practice leaders must ensure they give particular attention to the wellbeing and development of their less experienced staff.

We are committed to driving out poor employment practice. I encourage anyone aware of unprofessional, illegal and abhorrent behaviour to report it – to the employer and any relevant authority such as HMRC, ACAS, ARB and the RIBA. Any complaint regarding an RIBA member or a RIBA practice should be reported to professional.standards@riba.org and would be investigated in line with our Disciplinary Procedures.”

RIBA Council Student Representative, Maryam Al-Irhayim, said:

“The reports shared by FAF are sadly of no surprise. The prospects and working conditions experienced by many students and early career staff are bleak. Employers need to behave ethically, support their junior staff and help them to flourish.

Sadly this is not always the case and the RIBA has a key role to play in supporting individuals and practices to do better. As an elected representative for students, I will be championing their concerns at the top table.

I encourage students to contact me directly as we seek solutions together on how the system can improve @maybeitsnotmaryam Maryam_al-irhayim@hotmail.com or mAIrhayim@riba.org"

ENDS

Notes to editors:

  1. Press contact: Emily.Stallard@riba.org or 020 7307 3813.
  2. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is a global professional membership body that serves its members and society in order to deliver better buildings and places, stronger communities and a sustainable environment. Follow @RIBA on Twitter for regular updates.


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