Surveying is a diverse profession covering a wide range of disciplines. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors ( RICS) has described the Surveyors role ‘as essentially to measure, value, protect and enhance all the world’s physical assets.’ This apprenticeship offers an entry route at Level 3 into the profession and concentrates on Property Surveying, covering the disciplines of Building Surveying, Property Valuation and Maintenance, General Practice, and Quantity Surveying.
There are 2,500 Chartered Surveyors employed in Wales and a significant percentage are employed in the private sector. This would cover surveying firms, specialist property consultancies, house building companies, property developers, building and civil engineering consultants, retailers, banks, insurance institutions, and utilities. There are also opportunities in the public sector which cover local authorities, the Valuation Office Agency, universities, loss adjustors, housing associations, and hospital trusts.
While the property sector is experiencing challenges in the recovering economy, there are signs of a general improvement in performance with 20% of employers planning to move into other areas of activity to develop their business within the next 12 months. 11% of establishments reported skill shortages and the skills found particularly lacking were technical, practical, or job-specific.
Despite the economic downturn, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) believes that there is still a shortage of building surveyors. In a recent survey,70% of property companies aim to ‘grow moderately’ but only 17% of companies expected to ‘grow rapidly’ over the next three years.18% of companies stated they had spent more time on training compared to the same period last year, 12% stated they have spent more money on training. The majority of respondents (53%) claimed that the level of investment and time spent on training has remained the same. A large proportion of the workforce is over 45 years old, with a small % under 35, indicating the need for replacement demand.
Challenges faced by the property sector include:
- Market share – Expanding the business by attracting new clients, while dealing with competition from other business
- Legislation – Ensuring that employees are up to date with changes in legislation such as the green agenda and energy efficiency
- Technology – keeping up to date with changes in technology such as energy efficiency measures and materials
- Investing for future growth as and when economic conditions improve
- Increasing internationalism of the sector requires knowledge of different cultures and economies and travel outside of the UK
Future competencies required by the sector include:
- Addressing legislative changes
- Low carbon – energy efficiency
- The increased internationalism of projects which require a different skillset
- The development of business consultancy skills to manage a wide range of projects and developments and to help the company compete for business
In order to obtain/develop skills in the above areas, it is likely that employers within the surveying sector will have to invest time and money in recruitment and training. The apprenticeship will help to bring younger people into the sector and bridge the skills gap.
Employers have been involved in the design of the qualifications in the framework which will develop the critical skills required within the sector. The Framework has also been updated to meet the requirements of the new Specification of Apprenticeships Standards for Wales.
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