Hope for architects amid ramshackle development
THE EDITOR, Sir:
The views of my colleague, Damian Edmond, shared in his article 'Ten years wasted producing architects for export' (Sunday Gleaner, May 10, 2015), express the disappointment and frustration of many university graduates in Jamaica who are unable to find jobs in the field in which they trained.
Graduates from the architectural programmes at the Caribbean School of Architecture (CSA) may feel this frustration more keenly because they aspire to join a profession that is regulated by statute, with a qualification bar that is challenging to surmount.
The fact that Mr Edmond and many of his fellow graduates from the CSA have been able to achieve the status of registered architect in Jamaica distinguishes them as being competent to practise in Commonwealth countries. They have a skill that is recognised and exportable; their 10 years were not wasted.
work to do
There is still a lot of work to be done by the Architects Registration Board to maintain standards by aggressively policing the practice of architecture. They could start with the estimated more than 90 per cent of plans submitted to the parish councils that are not prepared by an architect. The 'ramshackle' environment that is now Jamaica owes its genesis to this failing, while architectural practices are without work and graduates suffer financial hardship.
However, there is hope and good news. The first part of the good news is that architects, like doctors, possess a recognisable skill that is exportable. The second part of the good news is that, thanks to technology, architects can export their skill without leaving the country, an opportunity that is not available to many other professions.