Author: Andrew Clarke
I recently read my colleague’s article regarding the shortages that the Construction Industry faces (https://brandonjames.co.uk/addressing-the-quantity-surveying-skill-shortage/) and thought that maybe we need to tackle the problem at an even earlier stage?
What is a Quantity Surveyor?
Up until I was 23, my answer to this question was “What is one of those?” – my point here is that, despite a crippling shortage of Quantity Surveyors that has been growing since the Recession in 2008, I, a reasonably intelligent and clued up guy with a passion for Maths and Numbers, had not been made aware of their existence. How is this possible with such a dire need?
How do we solve a problem like a Skill Shortage?
As I hinted at earlier, I think that Quantity Surveying (and other skill shortages) are suffering from a Brand Identity Crisis. Here are a couple of initial suggestions:
Mandatory GCSE (or equivalent) in a “Skill Shortage” subject e.g. Quantity Surveying or possibly a rotating timetable of a variety of ‘skill shortage’ subjects.
Granted my ability to say the word ‘spoon’ in German has been hilarious on exactly one occasion, I probably could have better spent that two years learning a skill which would positively contribute to the economy.
Government Led Careers Advice – Correct me if your experience was any different but my Careers Advisor, “Whatshername” – (How could I possibly remember this stranger that I crossed paths with for a paltry 5 minutes) decided, naively, that I should definitely pursue my career of becoming a professional footballer and should make no consideration for any other sort of career. Careers Advice Done!
Why did that advisor not come equipped with a list of the most poignant skill shortages and match my skillset/passion to these?
I am all for following dreams and at this stage in a person’s life, they should definitely be encouraged to pursue these, however, at least a purposeful attempt at highlighting these shortage areas as a career opportunity would not have gone amiss.
I know my suggestions are by no means exhaustive but I think they could be a pretty good way to start – Any thoughts, questions or disagreements are definitely welcome.
For anyone that read to get a real answer to the initial question – According to the RICS “A quantity surveyor is an expert in the art of costing a building at all its stages. “