Over the past few years, we have seen a decline in the number of Quantity Surveyors at all levels within the Construction Industry. A survey undertaken by the RICS in January 2018 highlighted that 60% of surveying practices continue to have labour shortages. This is at the highest level since the last 10 years.
The question is what can we the industry do to change this?
The Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE) have recently awarded £4.8m to universities and colleges across England to develop new degree apprenticeships. The apprenticeships are designed by employers, higher education providers and professional bodies and will enable the development of high level skills. They provide an alternative route to a degree and post graduate career.
Having recently hosted a taster day with 6th Form students from across Kent, to promote the new Construction Degree Apprenticeships, we gained an insight into what inspires and attracts them to choosing a career in the industry. We received great feedback, with comments such as ‘it was inspiring hearing Paul [Gannaway] talk so passionately about his field of work, and the new degree apprenticeship will give me the opportunity to earn and learn.’
We feel that it is important that young people are made aware of the career choices available in the construction industry. We regularly welcome students from GCSE to University level to carry out work experience or a placement within our practice.
Last month we had a student from Sandwich Technology School join us for a week of work experience to gain an insight into the construction industry. George was currently working towards his A-Levels and has a keen interest in the construction industry. During the week George was given a variety of tasks such as project admin, cost and measurement exercises, along with visiting sites and attending meetings with our team.
We continue to support the next generation of construction industry professionals, and encourage our construction peers to do the same.