With the property market showing signs of improvement and the government bringing forward the right to buy scheme, we are already seeing reports of a shortage of MRICS qualified Residential Valuation surveyors. Fortunately, General Practice Surveyors are adaptable and have the ability to move into this area of work but it is not the only discipline where we could see problems. The lack of property development in the last 5 years could also cause problems for employers with inexperienced surveyors not gaining enough experience in order to deliver these types of projects. From late 2008 through to mid 2010, we saw a significant number of surveyors being made redundant and struggling to find employment. During this period, a number of surveyors left the industry to start new career paths and there was a reduction in graduate recruitment across the industry.
During the mid 2000’s when the property market was flying, there was an influx of surveyors from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa who were able to work on the Highly Skilled Migrant Visa or Working Holiday Visa. However in recent years, the government has now closed the Highly Skilled Migrant Visa and the Working Holiday Visa now known as the Youth Mobility Visa, which has significantly reduced the number of individuals who are able to use this visa.
The industry is obviously aware of this problem with senior figures visiting schools to encourage children to choose surveying as a career. However, if the market continues to improve, will there be a shortage of highly skilled surveyors?