Monday 16 July 2018

'Alarming' shortage of construction and property surveying graduates to meet surging demand in recovering economy

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Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

There are not enough graduates coming out of college with construction and property surveying degrees to meet the surge in demand in the recovering economy.

There will be a shortage of between 2,000 and 4,000 of these professionals over the next four years, according to a report by Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI).

Despite an increase in enrolments in property and construction related courses in recent years,  it is not enough to fill the opportunities in the market.

Report author Dr Róisín Murphy of Dublin Institute of Technology said the situation was so serious that the lack of supply of suitably qualified surveying professionals was now the primary constraint to employment growth.

She also said that the shortage of suitably qualified surveyors was likely to continue to put upward pressure on wage levels and, ultimately, on building costs.

The Employment Opportunities and Future Skills Requirements for Surveying Professions report notes that, over the past four years, there has been a notable increase in employment across every surveying discipline: quantity, building, property and land – and demand is set to rise further.

And, according to the SCSI projections, an additional 3,739 additional surveying positions will be created by 2021.

However, the number of students graduating from relevant degree programmes over the same period will amount to 1,577 -  a shortfall of 2,162.

The projection is based on economic growth of 3pc per year, but, if the economy grows by 4pc per year, the shortfall will double to 4,000. The European Commission has forecast GDP growth of 5.7pc for Ireland this year and 4.1pc for 2019.

Dr Murphy said the projected demand for surveyors spanned every level of experience, from graduate to senior surveyor, and as positions are filled at higher levels it would generate further opportunities for graduates.

“However, while there has been an increase in enrolment on third level surveying programmes in the last number of years, the increased supply of graduates has continued to be outstripped by demand,” she said.

SCSI Director of Education James Lonergan described the findings as “alarming” and said they underlined the urgent need for a dramatic increase in the number of chartered  surveyors “to build, sell and manage the new homes, offices, health, transport and education facilities the country so badly needs following years of under-investment.”

He urged CAO applicants with an interest in this area to consider course opportunities ahead of change of mind deadline on July 1.

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