The Chief Executive Officer of Interstate Architects Limited, Olusegun Ladega, has claimed that about 30 per cent of architects migrated to Canada in 2022.
He said, “I can count the number of our staff who would be with us, who we have developed because we also have our own internal human capital development processes. So, it means that we had developed some of our personnel only for them to say, ‘I’m leaving’. In fact, Canada is now the number one destination. More than 30 per cent of our workforce in the last one year just called me to say, ‘I’m leaving for Canada’. It is a majority leaving for Canada. A few have left for the UK.
“So, this means we have invested resources, training, and developing them. Most times when architects come as a practice, we encourage them and then we employ those that have the potential to grow in the practice and perhaps ultimately become partners. So, that is part of our recruitment strategy.”
He added, “We always have an eye on employing those that will take over from us. And then when you’ve now invested in developing the person, they just say again, ‘thank you very much, sir, but my visa to Canada has come out.’ So, you simply have developed them for Canada.
“So, this means we invested resources, training, and developing them. I mean, most times when architects come as a practice, we encourage them and then we employ those that we see have the potential to grow with the practice and perhaps ultimately become partners. So, that is part of our recruitment strategy.”
Ladega was also worried about the number of architects who had abandoned the profession for others.
Architectural firms are currently suffering from manpower shortages because architects are abandoning the industry for other sectors.
While decrying the state of the industry, he noted that the brain drain issue was not restricted to those migrating to other countries, but also those moving to other sectors after being equipped by architectural firms.
He claimed the movement of architects to other sectors, especially the financial sector, had been depriving the architectural industry of private consultancy opportunities.
He said, “Where the architects get enticed by fat salaries, they leave irrespective of the investments made. We call it ‘house architects’. The resultant effect is that the banks developing their branch networks around the country no longer come to private consultancy because they use their in-house architects.
“So, they don’t just pick some young guy off the street. It is the guys in well-established firms and a number of us from well-established firms that they recruit from only. Across the country, I can count the number of alumni of this organization.”
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer of CN Architects Limited, Obinna Nwosu, asserted that the movement of professionals from one industry to another was part of life.
He said, “It is a cycle of life. At a point in time, it boils down to what we are passionate about and the responsibilities we have ahead of us. The first time this happened to me, I felt bad. However, I realized that people had to grow and not everybody would grow with you irrespective of the equipping done over time.”