Year in review: Melbourne Architecture & Interior Design, December 2021

16th December 2021 / Market Updates

Here’s a quick end of year summary from Melbourne.

Well, what a year! Things started out strongly, continued to get busier, and staying in that vein – finishing on a high.

Photo: Nao Takabayashi

At this stage, studios will re-open in 2022 already expecting to be in action mode.

We are currently recruiting across most project sectors, both private and public sector and anticipate this will continue well into 2022.

Thinking back to January, we all felt things would start in positive territory (and that lock-downs were a thing of the past). However, July saw us all head home again for an extended period, although compared to 2020, working from home did not see projects slow down at all, in fact quite the opposite in most cases.

We have experienced many of the things a busy market brings, positivity, yes, excellent career opportunities opening up, yes, but a tightening of available talent across all roles has created stresses for some studios who simply haven’t been able to recruit the numbers or type of people needed. Of course with high demand for staff, also comes demand for increased salaries, and this has been a big talking point for both clients and job seekers, in many cases salaries have tended to jump up well ahead of where studio’s would like to be.

So, in short, it’s been a busy year, and at times unpredictable – throw in the odd earthquake, new Covid variants and uncertain political and economic pressures around the world, no wonder everyone we are talking to are ready to have a well earned break, take it easy for a few weeks, and then kick back off in 2022.

Photo: Square Lab

So what does next year bring?

Things will start out strongly. That is apparent with the newly listed roles already coming in with a January start in mind. Certainly there are a few larger projects poised to start out in the first few months that will see demand for team members, particularly in the health, research and infrastructure sectors. Education will continue strongly as well. Revit skills will be high on the wish list from clients for the majority of role.

Our clients in the apartment and broader residential sectors are generally all upbeat. Interior Design won’t be forgotten either – corporate, residential, hospitality and retail sectors are all making some loud noises.

We anticipate new roles as they come in will be broad, across all experience and skill levels, diversity of project background, with some really good strategic career roles in the mix. It is hard to see past the first six months of 2022, so please keep an eye out for our market updates as we go into the second quarter next year. We are getting lots of questions about how the office environment will look in 2022. Many studios are working toward a hybrid arrangement (WFH and office based)  although increasingly mid to larger groups are all aiming by February to be a close to full teams back in the office. At the other end of the spectrum, a sizeable number are expecting that a hybrid studio / home work arrangement will be an ongoing way of working into the future. One thing is for certain, there won’t be one size fits all approach across the industry, and the question is, is it be the studio or the staff who are dictating this decision.

Photo: Surface

2022 will be an interesting year in other respects as well. As international and interstate travel opens up, being the first time in 2 years to catch up with our friends and family – expect there will be lots of leave forms flying around!

We are excited to again be sponsoring the Melbourne ArchiSoccer league for 2021/22, with games just having started over the past few weeks. The teams are all pumped and going hard already. It’s great to be a part of this unique sporting competition.

Thanks to all of our clients, candidates and industry friends that we have worked with so closely over the past year.

We trust you all have an enjoyable Christmas, New year and a safe and rewarding break, and the team here at BT&P looks forward to catching up with you again in 2022.

Photo: Ian Schneider

Bruce Whetters


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