In an industry-wide assessment of skills and workforce issues in the wider landscape economy launched by the Landscape Institute (LI) in 2022, it has been highlighted that the landscape sector is worth approximately £24.6 billion to the economy in Gross Value-Added terms alone and is growing twice as fast than the wider economy average (18% compared to 10% since 2010).
Over 50% of businesses in this sector have a hard-to-fill vacancy, with businesses unable to accept public beneficial contracts due to the vacancies.
Despite this time of unprecedented opportunity for the landscape sector, one of the Landscape Institute’s university accredited partners will be withdrawing from offering its post graduate Landscape Architecture MA as well as the MLA conversion programme also in Landscape Architecture due to financial pressure.
Writtle University College has been an LI accredited partner for several years and is supporting its current students on these programmes to complete their studies supported by the LI.
The Landscape Institute’s chief executive, Sue Morgan says, “This is such sad news for our sector and landscape industry. Our sector survey has clearly shown the demand and value of our skills in placemaking and addressing the biodiversity and climate change emergencies. We need more trained professionals to emerge to help the private and public sectors alike in addressing these issues. To see yet another educational establishment drop essential courses is hard to understand.”
This decision comes at a time when landscape architecture is currently facing occupational shortages, with LI’s industry-wide assessment in its Skills for Greener Places report highlighting that this decision will only exacerbate the issue further.
LI’s report highlighted that the landscape sector’s workforce is older than the UK average, an ageing workforce will make skills shortages worse in the medium term.
However, the Landscape Institute continues to push forward its work in education and careers by seeking to extend its careers outreach activity in efforts to engage with a much wider range of people to further increase the pipeline for landscape architecture to combat the skill shortage threat and avoid bottlenecking the sector in the near future.