The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is launching 'Surveying the Future' - a new campaign to attract more talent to a rapidly changing industry.
RICS, which sets and enforces standards across land, property, infrastructure and construction, is searching for the brightest and the best to work at home and overseas dealing with world challenges - which means tapping into talent from diverse backgrounds and skill-sets across the full breadth of the UK workforce.
Sean Tompkins, CEO of RICS said: "Organisations within the industry recognise that greater diversity of thought is likely to be their biggest business advantage in the future. One of the problems is that influencers, such as teachers, parents and careers advisors are not aware of the broad range of surveying careers."
President of RICS, Louise Brooke-Smith, firmly believes that one of the greatest challenges is the leadership deficit, particularly in a number of areas where skills and collaborative leadership styles excel:
"Encouraging people to do better and achieve more can be helped significantly by making success visible, and that's relevant across all career paths. Our campaign will really drive through change in this area and highlight a broad diversity of talented professionals who are shaping the world we live in."
Kerri McGuire, a principal planner at Glasgow's chartered surveyors Graham + Sibbald, is a prime example of how being part of the profession strengthens skill-sets and opportunities:
"I first came into contact with the surveying profession when I was at school and asked, along with other pupils to organise an event for the Glasgow Year of Architecture in 1999 which was organised in conjunction with Strathclyde University. The conference was designed to give students an insight into the world of architecture, planning and developments. This really sparked my imagination and led me to research a number of career options in the Built Environment.
"Having been so impressed by the University of Strathclyde's expertise in the field of planning and the built environment, I decided to enrol on an Environmental Planning Undergraduate Degree course there before moving on to a RICS accredited Masters Degree in Urban Real Estate Management and Development at Heriot Watt University. These courses certainly gave me the technical know how I needed to enter the industry, however, a work placement at a local surveyors firm gave me the chance to put the technique into practice and encouraged me to pursue a career in surveying.
"On a day-to-day basis I can be seen doing a wide range of things, from site finding, preparing planning applications, promoting sites through the development plan process etc. What's more my skills set goes beyond merely looking at plans, it also requires project management skills - sometimes requiring me to work with professionals as diverse as ecologists to archaeologists and architects. I am also required to advise on the commercial viability of proposals and legal requirements.
"In terms of the softer skills I've developed in my time as a planning and development surveyor, I would say that I have a greater ability to negotiate with people, whether clients or fellow employees. In addition, I've also become a better public speaker, often having to inform large groups of people as to project developments and outcomes.
"As they say 'variety is the spice of life', and it really is when it comes to my career. I can find myself in the urban or rural setting on any one day and during my career I have been involved in projects as varied as supermarkets, residential developments, wind farms and urban regeneration schemes to name just a few. What's more surveying is a really social profession, so to be successful you need to get out here and meet people on a regular basis.
"The surveying industry is full of opportunities. For anyone looking to enter the industry, I'd strongly recommend that they research the different careers that come under the very broad umbrella of surveying. What's more I'd also encourage prospective and new entrants to seek out a mentor who can advise them on the steps they should take in their career and provide a sounding board for their questions. Gaining work experience is also a way of gaining the important knowledge and information you need about the industry, so that you can make informed decisions every step of the way.
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