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Skills shortage

by mel starrs on April 18, 2007

in The Profession

I’ve had many a conversation over the past few months lamenting the lack of engineers available for hire at senior and associate level. These figures from 2004 show that we’re not imagining this shortfall – look at the massive gap in age bracket 40-44:

Age Profile of the Industry

General concensus is that in the early 90’s when the industry was in recession, those who were then in their late 20’s/early 30’s left to pursue careers in IT, accountancy or aromatherapy and never came back.

It is estimated that we need 7,000 entrants per annum over the next few years to meet construction demand.

One institute which has come up with a novel way to solve the dilemma is RICS. Reported in Building last week:

  The RICS is set to address the skills shortage in surveying by launching refresher courses for people who have left the profession but wish to return.

The article goes on to suggest that QS’s may be about to be added to the current list of skills shortage occupations. I’m surprised to learn that the only engineering disciplines currently on the list are railway engineers, structural/bridge engineers, transportation and highways engineers and ground engineering. I’d be more than happy to see building services engineers added to the list and start to import talent from India, East Europe and China more freely.