Author: Dan Foster
In order to understand my logic, you need to know a little bit about my background; I will keep it brief.
In 2011, I begun my undergraduate Law degree. In 2015 I undertook my Masters in International Business and Commercial law, and in 2016 I completed my Legal Practice Course (LPC) and was extremely fortunate to be offered a training contract.
For those who are not in the legal industry, training contracts must be completed in order for you to become a fully qualified Solicitor. There are thousands of law graduates across the UK and only a hand-full of training contracts, thus I always described training contracts as “gold dust”.
The legal side of things did not work out for me. Thus, I took a chance and so did my MD and now I recruit for Quantity Surveyors across the South East.
One of the first things my MD said to me was that there is a huge skill shortage of good Quantity Surveyors across the UK – The complete opposite to the legal profession!
As a result, I have been fortunate enough to see both sides of the coin:
1) The Legal industry – a large pool of talented individuals, but a low demand for such candidates.
2) Quantity Surveying – a small pool of talented individuals. but a high demand for such candidates.
So here is my suggestion to reduce the Quantity Surveying skill shortage, and skill shortages in general.
I suggest that universities adjust their course fees in order to reflect the demand for talented and hard working people within a particular industry.
- Law degree – low demand – £9000 (per year) course fee
- Quantity Surveying – high demand – £4500 (per year) course fee
I believe this would have a positive effect on a number of different levels.
Firstly, it would provide the platform for underprivileged students to attend University, an enrichment experience like no other. As a direct result of obtaining a degree in a industry which has a high demand for qualified individuals, they naturally have a greater chance of succeeding in these job markets. Markets where previously they would have been disadvantaged because they could not afford university fees.
Secondly, over 50% of students who attend University undertake part-time work whilst there. Logic suggests that these students will provide a positive contribution to the economy during this time, through this employment, and then upon completion will statistically join a higher paying role with a greater net benefit on the economy. These opportunities arguably would have not been available to the majority of these people.
Finally and most importantly, by encouraging more students to enter university and achieve a degree within an industry which is begging for talented individuals, in the long term we are addressing the skill shortage by increasing the pool of qualified individuals!
I am advocate for doing what you enjoy, rather than what is available. If you love the law do everything to become a lawyer. What I am suggesting is a method of reducing the skill shortage. What I am not encouraging is taking the cheaper option.
Always follow your dreams and do what you enjoy the most!