Future Outlook for the Role of Quantity Surveyor

The Quantity Surveyor has an all-important role in the construction industry, so what is the future for these highly qualified individuals? Is the role in decline, in high demand or is it plodding along minding its own business?

A Quantity Surveyor’s Business

The Quantity Surveyor’s business isn’t minding its own business; it’s minding everyone else’s. As the QS is the backbone in making sure everyone is happy financially, contractually and with foreseeing and planning funds for the construction project ahead. The Quantity Surveyor has the job of financially and contractually keeping projects running smoothly. 

Surveyor Jobs Increasing

The construction industry business is expanding, so it must stand to reason QS jobs are also on the rise. Vacancies for Quantity Surveying are indeed on the increase as construction companies begin to feel confident about the industry once again. Companies are struggling to fill these vacancies however, as there is a distinct shortage of Quantity Surveyors to occupy them. The high demand for Quantity Surveyors means the QS market is on the candidate’s side. A number of reasons are to blame for this uneven ratio between vacancies and candidates.

Quantity Surveyors Decreasing

This serious and precarious absence of not having enough Quantity Surveyors to fill the vacancies is reported to be partially a Brexit problem. With Brexit came a double whammy for the construction industry sectors; the return of many workers in the UK to their home countries and a reduced influx of foreign workers onto the shores of Britain. This increased outflux and reduced influx of people has contributed to the construction industry’s labour shortage and unfilled job vacancies. The construction sectors employ a large portion of the UK workforce and without a steady inflow of young people, leads to the second potential Quantity Surveying recruitment problem. An ageing population means the ratio of people retiring, to those leaving school or university is also unbalanced. For every QS that retires there is not necessarily a young QS to replace them. Another third issue, could be the lack of students wanting to take the relevant training and degrees to become a QS.

Quantity Surveyor Recruitment

Having identified some of the reasons to why there is this disproportionate balance between QS jobs and QS candidates, the solution has to be encouraged through promoting the construction industry on the whole across all construction sectors. Indeed, an increase in Quantity Surveying apprenticeships has begun, bypassing the full-time university degree and giving the future QS immediate hands-on practical experience alongside the theory. Greater encouragement of young people into Quantity Surveyor careers is a good start. An advertising campaign is a potent and proven way in which to encourage younger individuals to join or try a certain job type, and is perhaps necessary for the construction industry and Quantity Surveyor recruitment.    

The Future of the QS

To make the QS role appealing and exciting and profitable to the young is a long term solution and should be followed. A possible short term solution? Searching for potential candidates from within the construction sectors. Those with transferable skills and experience could be trained more quickly than someone straight from education. This cutting down on training time would certainly speed up recruiting new talent into the QS job market. But of course this shouldn’t be at the expense or detrimental to other construction job roles. The QS future is a clear and secure future as long as investments are made into training young people and promoting the pros and upsides of becoming a Quantity Surveyor.

Maxim recruitment can advise and help on Quantity Surveying and QS recruitment. If you’re looking to start or further your QS career, the Maxim recruitment team can help.

Kelvin Brown
Maxim Recruitment Intern