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UK Surveyor Skills Shortage Reaches Critical Levels

Over 85% of UK surveyors who responded to an RICS survey said that they experienced recruiting problems due to lack of qualified candidates.

Many companies are already turning down funded projects because of the lack of capable and qualified surveying staff. It’s a situation that is rapidly reaching a critical point.

Approximately 43% (or two in five) surveying firms are presently unable to accept new business opportunities due to the skilled workers shortage. Each of them is forced to pass up an average of five contracts every year.

The RICS warns that the problem will worsen over the next five years.

Some surveyors claim that they can refuse up to five new projects every week in the present market conditions such is the demand. The scarcity of supply is impeding the growth of many businesses who are desperate for support from experienced surveyors and construction staff.

It seems to be a lesson the industry has yet to learn from with a similar effect felt in the industry after the economic recession in the early 1990s. Investment in apprentices and the surveyors of tomorrow always seems the first cut made in a downturn and it means when the good times return there is not enough trained staff to take advantage of growth opportunities.


Specialists in Construction Insurance

The result today is that the majority of working surveyors are in the forties or late thirties while there are very few young people employed in the role. The same sort of problems have been seen in other areas of the construction industry too with a skills shortage in many trades already making the national news.

Worryingly surveyors are crucial to the successful delivery of all construction projects. Without surveyors on board, projects simply don’t get built.

If so many firms are unable to accept work because available talent is not on hand, the demand for skilled labour will soon exceed the supply.

For many construction firms, that time is already here, and the coming years will be deciding ones for the state of the industry. Construction shows all the signs of sustaining growth, but given the current skills situation, it appears unlikely that it will have the capability or capacity to complete planned projects.

RICS has sent out a call for surveying companies to support its mission of bringing through the next generation of talent via its Surveying the Future campaign. The aim of the undertaking is to attract a more diverse workforce.


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