IHBC’s first Research Note for 2018 has been posted on our online Toolbox, offering our regular update of ‘Market Intelligence’ on England’s 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 1875 posts over 21 years since 1998.
- In 2018 there was a recovery in the number of posts advertised in England from a low in 2011 and 2012 (and after a dip in 2017) vacancies returned to approximately the level last seen in 2008-9. This may mark gradually increasing trend depending on the state of local government finances.
- The number of posts re-advertised within six months rose sharply to thirteen (fifteen if the survey period was extended to seven months) possibly reflecting difficulty in recruiting the staff of the right calibre.
- The average median salary advertised for advertised posts in 2018 was £32,501 a rise of 2.7% on 2017.
- It was noted with regret that during 2018 (as in 2017) only about half of local planning authorities considered IHBC membership as essential or desirable for applicants thus ending a recent rising trend of well over two-thirds of LPAs in 2016 notwithstanding the strength of IHBC membership as a benchmark for professional status and competence.
- Only 5.58% of local planning authorities continue to specify membership of the Royal Town Planning Institute alone but this rises to 19.3% when membership of any or all other allied institutions including RIBA, RICS and CIfA is included.
- Development management advice, appeals and enforcement continue to dominate prioritised job functions but with slightly less diversification of workload than in 2017.
- Fixed-term grant schemes supported by outside agencies accounted for a significant number of temporary posts, usually lasting 36 to 54 months.
- Variations in advertised posts and salaries in England in 2018 showed significant variations between Branches with only one post advertised in South (covering Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, Isle of White and Oxfordshire) while seven Branches had more than seven advertised vacancies each, part of a minor general expansion of recruitment.
- Notably higher salaries continued to be paid in London and the South East but median salary levels for new posts continued to be depressed in the East Midlands (Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire) whereas most other areas returned to being close to the national median level.
- Fixed term posts were in a minority but particularly associated with the former HLF Townscape Initiatives and HE Heritage Action Zones.
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’.
Read the Research Note – Market Intelligence: Local Authority Conservation Specialists Jobs Market 2018
Read the 2017 jobs market intelligence Note
For more background see the NewsBlog