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Interview: Landscape People

The downward turn, not easy for everyone to take; image: shutterstock.com

Landscape People is a great and simplified means for finding a job in the domain of landscape architecture and for companies to find their wanted landscape architects. It is the solution to helping the landscape architecture working domain. To understand how it all works, I talked to Michael Burton-Nickson, founder of the company. If you’re a fresh student looking for a job or looking to renew your career you might want to read!

  • What services does Landscape People offer as a company? Please describe your activity to our readers.

Landscape People aims to provide a platform where landscape architects can highlight their skills and show potential employers what they have to offer. This is done by completing the only landscape architecture specific ‘online profile’ anywhere on the internet.  Our day to day activities include scouring the internet looking for jobs across the whole world but we predominantly focus on the UK, Middle East and the Far East. We call employers and try to find out when they might be ready to begin recruiting and try our best to highlight the benefits of our website over traditional recruitment agents.

Michael Burton-Nickson, founder of the Landscape People

Michael Burton-Nickson, founder of the Landscape People

  •  What are the characteristics that make Landscape People a better option for finding a job or an employee in the domain?

Landscape People acts as an impartial platform for both employers and job seekers alike. For job seekers, instead of waiting for jobs to be placed with us, we hunt for the best jobs and try to find jobs that are not advertised anywhere else. Also by providing an online platform to advertise yourself, you can stand out from other applicants and show employers what they what to know at the click of a button. For employers, we are the only employment portal to have its job seeker database completely available online which is specific to the landscape architecture profession. We provide several search tools which help employers to filter through our database. These include an address/postal code search and a skill specific or career level specific search, giving employers total control over the people they are looking for.

  • What are your opinions on today’s working landscape architecture market? What is the situation in regards to development and hiring? 

The employment market within landscape architecture is vastly different to when I started my career 6/7 years ago.  Back then there were plenty of practices and plenty of jobs kept appearing regularly in my area of Leeds, UK. After the global economic crisis, things have changed drastically and jobs often appear in locations many miles away from where people live. This can be seen as a bad thing but I like to stay positive and if you’re prepared to travel and are flexible, the chances are that you can gain some fantastic career experience by travelling the country you live or even further afield to places like Dubai of Hong Kong.

Burj Khalifa Park by SWA Group in Dubai

Get a job as a Landscape Architects in Dubai and design projects like Burj Khalifa Park by SWA Group

  •  What top tips can you give to students fresh out of university that are searching for a job in landscape architecture?
  1. Contact employers directly – Employers don’t like hearing from recruitment agents about graduates, but if a graduate can get his or her foot in the door by speaking to them directly, then you will have a greater chance of finding that first position
  2. Ask an employer for work experience – Often graduates have no work experience on their CV that is related to landscape professional practice.  Try and get some work experience, working for free, so that you can get used to the office environment.
  • With the landscape architecture working domain looking a bit bleak, you initiated a campaign called ‘Save British Landscape Architecture’. Tell us a bit about that.

I started this campaign because in the UK, we had a large number of recently graduated landscape architects who have no work to go into and are taking jobs in other sectors just to make ends meet.  Save British Landscape Architecture is a campaign to help graduates find work experience to put on their CV.  The best way to get experience in the current climate is to work for free as a work experience placement.  So I started this campaign in the hope that employers would begin to offer a 2 week work experience placement to graduates, but I have found it harder to establish than I first thought.  The problem I have is publicising the campaign and getting companies involved from the UK.

Work experience, you never know where it might lead you.

Work experience, you never know where it might lead you.

So far, we have had 5 work experience positions listed on our site but we have also now seen the Landscape Institute, which is the governing body for landscape architects in the UK, start their own 2 week work experience campaign. This is an important step towards helping graduated get work experience on their CV after leaving university. We hope this campaign can help graduates get some much needed experience to be able to compete in the graduate job market. It is an on-going campaign that we hope will make a real difference to graduate opportunities in the coming years.

  • What role do you think landscape architecture plays in people’s lives and what does the future hold for this domain? 

The future of landscape architecture is complex. The world in which we live is constantly changing from both an environmental, climatic and visual point of view.Landscape architecture plays an important role in people’s lives, but it is usually a hidden role that only the trained eye can see.  Landscape architects influence the shape of our urban environment and carefully manage the wider landscape in which we live and play. From designing small parks, to choosing which paving is laid at a new bus stop, landscape architects influence almost everything we come into contact with every day. We need to nurture our planet and make sure it will be here for our children and our children’s children.  We can only do this by ensuring decision makers have the proper advice to hand and can plan properly for the future. In the immediate future, the landscape architecture profession needs to stand up and make its voice heard on both a local and international level. Websites such as ‘Landscape Architects Network’ help keep international professionals informed on current projects and topical issues throughout the world. Without these we would be starved of the creative inspiration of our world-wide professional partners. Landscape People provide an incredible platform which makes it easier for companies to sample the market and save top dollar on getting the right person for the intended job. The fact of the matter is that landscape architecture should not be taken for granted in all the uses that it offers and in the ways that it makes life better, easier, more practical and in the end more beautiful for most people. If you think Landscape People can benefit you, don’t hesitate to sign up here. Interview conducted by Oana Anghelache Enjoy what you’ve read! Support us and pick up one of our awesome T-shirts and hoodies today, Click the link

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This article was originally submitted to Landscape Architects Network

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