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The Quantity Surveyor Mid-Life Crisis

23-February-2017 15:59
in General
by Robert Dunn

With more new homes being built in the UK than we have seen in decades, it's fair to say the coming years could be extremely lucrative for house builders. Research indicates that the influx of help to buy schemes, coupled with house prices predicted to fall in 2017, more and more people will now be able to own their own home. Great news, right?

Well, maybe not...more demand ultimately leads to more supply, but do these property developers have all the resources they need? I'm talking about the now notorious 'middle age gap'.

As the construction industry began to buckle under the strain of the 2008 recession, fewer young men and women were deciding on a career in construction. Those that did choose site based skill sets - the majority undertaking apprenticeships in carpentry, electronics and plumbing, working their way into a Site Foreman position and other manager roles.

Although there is still quite the shortage of site based personnel, the real concern is over the commercial function of these businesses. For almost 8 years, numbers dramatically dwindled in applications to universities for people studying to become Quantity Surveyors. This has directly led to an almost drought like shortage of talent within the commercial arena and construction recruitment agencies having to re-educate the client on how competitive their QS job roles need to be within the industry.

The biggest question raised is; "what do we do to fix it?". Some companies have chosen to take on young, enthusiastic, post-apprenticeship students and pay to put them through university on a 1 day a week, 5-year placement. Others are paying eye-watering salaries to young surveyors with just a few years’ experience (with the view of developing them internally) and an astute few have decided to call upon the services of recruitment head hunters to canvas the local market for the top talent.

What next? Well, that may be the most difficult question to answer. What we do know is that without the right people, with the right attributes and experience, many property developers run the risk of projects running over budget and over schedule with potentially monumental financial implications.

Are you an experienced Quantity Surveyor looking for the next step in your career? If you want to capitalise on fantastic jobs for Quantity Surveyors – please contact our office on 02381 590059 or visit our website to speak to one of our dedicated  team.


Author: Robert Dunn - Specialist Headhunter for the Construction Industry. Visit his LinkedIn profile here for more information.

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