IHBC’s first Research Note for 2018 has been posted on our online Toolbox, offering our regular update of ‘Market Intelligence’ on local authority (LA) conservation-related jobs from our ‘IHBC Jobs etc.’ service.
Bob Kindred, IHBC research consultant and author of this Research Note – RN 2018/1- writes in his executive summary:
- The Institute’s data set now covers about 1787 posts over the 20 years since 1998.
- In 2017 there was a further slight contraction in the number of conservation posts advertised in England from a recent high in 2015 – there having previously been a growth in capacity from a very low level prior to 2012. It is not clear if the recent decline is a trend or another temporary contraction of the public sector.
- The average median salary offered for advertised posts in 2017 was £31,624 a rise of 2.4% on 2016.
- It was noted with regret that during 2017 fewer local planning authorities considered IHBC membership as essential or desirable for applicants thus ending a recent rising trend. This is notwithstanding the strength of IHBC membership as a benchmark for professional status and competence. Authorities appear to be finding it more difficult to recruit suitably qualified and experienced candidates (as seen in the number of re-advertisements) and this may also be reflected in depressed starting salary levels.
- Development management advice, appeals and enforcement continue to dominate job functions but with a slightly greater diversification of workload.
- The 50th anniversary of the first designations of conservation areas did not appear to stimulate greater priority for conservation area reviews, appraisals and management plans.
- Regional variations in salaries in 2017 showed less deviation from the long-term historical differentials noted since 1998.
- Only four of the IHBC’s ten English Branches had more than seven advertised vacancies, part of a general contraction of recruitment.
- Notably higher salaries continued to be paid in London, the South and the South East but salary levels for new posts were particularly depressed in the West Midlands and fell back in East Midlands while most other areas returned to being close to the national average, having fluctuated somewhat unpredictably over the last three to four years.
- More permanent full time posts (rather than part time and/or temporary posts) were advertised in the last third of 2017 but with correspondingly lower starting salaries.
IHBC Director Seán O’Reilly said: ‘IHBC Research Notes are produced as part of an integrated resource offering online support for conservation practitioners, the IHBC’s ‘Toolbox’.’
‘Our Toolbox has been developed to help inform, advise and guide anyone with specialist interests in built and historic environment conservation. Already it offers a wide range of basic resources – the ‘tools’ in the toolbox – from primary research and guidance produced by or on behalf of the IHBC, all in line with technical, academic and practice advice and standards supported or endorsed by the Institute.’
‘This Research Note highlights trends across one of the most fundamental measures in conservation management – the state of our local authority capacity. By advising on known knowledge gaps in policy and practice such as this, our ToolBox fulfils the role for which it was conceived and designed’.
For our last Note, on ‘Alacrity’, see the NewsBlog
Read the jobs market intelligence Note