30% of Nigerian architects migrated to Canada – Experts

Olusegun Ladega, Chief Executive Officer of Interstate Architects Limited, claims that approximately 30% of architects will migrate to Canada by 2022.

Ladega revealed to The Nigerianwatch in an interview that those leaving for overseas are highly experienced professionals.

"I can count the number of our staff who have developed because we also have our own internal human capital development processes," he said. So it means that we invested in some of our employees only to have them leave. In fact, Canada is now the most popular tourist destination. More than 30 per cent of our workforce in the last one year just called me to say, 'I'm leaving for Canada'. The majority of people are emigrating to Canada. A few have gone to the United Kingdom.

"This means we have invested resources in training and developing them. When architects come as a practice, we usually encourage them and then hire those who have the potential to grow in the practice and possibly eventually become partners. As a result, that is a component of our recruitment strategy."

"We always have an eye on employing those who will take over from us," he added. And then, after you've invested in their development, they simply say, "Thank you very much, sir, but my visa to Canada has expired." So you simply created them for Canada.

"This means we put resources into training and developing them. I mean, when architects come as a practice, we usually encourage them and then hire those who we believe have the potential to grow with the practice and eventually become partners. As a result, that is a component of our recruitment strategy."

Ladega was also concerned about the number of architects who had left the profession to pursue other opportunities.

Manpower shortages are currently affecting architectural firms as architects leave the industry to pursue other opportunities.

While lamenting the state of the industry, he pointed out that brain drain was not limited to those migrating to other countries, but also to those moving to other sectors after being trained by architectural firms.

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He claimed that the migration of architects to other industries, particularly the financial sector, had deprived the architectural industry of private consultancy opportunities.

"Where architects are enticed by fat salaries, they leave regardless of the investments made," he said. House architects are what we call them. As a result, banks expanding their branch networks across the country no longer seek private consulting because they rely on their in-house architects.

"So they don't just pick some random young man off the street. They only recruit from well-established firms and a number of us from well-established firms. I can count the number of alumni of this organization across the country."

Meanwhile, Obinna Nwosu, Chief Executive Officer of CN Architects Limited, stated that professional transitions from one industry to another are a natural part of life.

"It's a natural cycle," he explained. It all comes down to what we are passionate about and the responsibilities we have ahead of us at some point. I felt bad the first time this happened to me. However, I realized that people had to grow, and not everyone would grow with you regardless of how much equipping you did over time."

"Another issue with architectural firms is that they do not pay well, forcing architects to become designers, builders, or developers."

Similarly, another architect, Daniel Thompson, stated that migration occurs frequently in the architectural industry.

"From a business standpoint, it is a very logical move," he said. However, this may lower industry standards because in-house architects are unsupervised and lack seniors to adequately guide them, which may prevent them from growing."

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