What happens if the UK runs out of surveyors?

What happens if the UK runs out of surveyors?

As the construction industry in UK is showing signs of growth, more so than ever surveyors are playing a crucial role in the delivery of every new construction project. To put it simply, without surveyors, things just don’t get built. And right now, UK is experiencing a shortage of qualified surveyors.

As highlighted by recent research from RICS, worsening skills shortages will threaten nearly 30,000 building projects within five years.

According to the research conducted among RICS’ 75,283 UK members in December 2014, more than 85% of surveyors questioned said that a lack of qualified candidates meant they had problems recruiting new staff. Around two in five firms surveyed currently turn down an average of five contracts per year. A further 11% of the industry saying that they too will begin turning down work by 2019.

Why is this research is worrying, then? If so many firms are turning down work due to a lack of available surveyors, demand for skills may soon outstrip the supply. Many companies are facing this situation already, and at this rate it seems unlikely that UK will have the capacity or the capability to fulfil planned projects. This is especially vital during a time where the whole world is facing one of the most rapid urban growth spurs ever seen. The UK is currently regarded highly for its professional skills, this should not be taken for granted and measures need to be in place to ensure it stays so.

Speaking to Recruiter, James Perris, director at chartered surveyors De Villiers Associates, doesn’t see the issue of a lack of surveyors going away anytime soon: “I think it’s a problem that is going to get worse because the average age of a residential valuer is the wrong side of 50.

“You need to get some fresh blood in. There’s no way other way to do it,” he added.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom. RICS are now calling for surveying companies to support their work in bringing through the next generation of surveying professionals. Their Surveying the Future campaign aims to attract a more diverse workforce for the benefit of the surveying profession. Many companies are jumping on the bandwagon, and with more secure opportunities arising with more influential institutions, it looks as if more students will be choosing surveying as their future career path. Being able to take advantage of such a situation may require a little patience, flexibility and hard work but there are definite opportunities for those with an interest in the career.

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