As the latest cohort of students from across Sheffield collect their exam results, we see many individuals deciding the next steps on their academic pathway with a future career in mind.
Whatever those decisions are, one thing for sure is that the construction sector has become an increasingly unlikely destination for young people in recent years.
Figures from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) show that, unless a new generation of skilled workers joins the industry, 27,000 construction projects a year will be at risk by 2019. On that basis, we need to make it clear to young people that construction is not an inferior career choice to those that are perhaps mentioned more frequently in the classroom – it’s an exciting, challenging and rewarding industry for all levels of academic ability.
Particularly in the surveying sector, there are fantastic opportunities to help plan and manage the creation of iconic buildings and infrastructure projects. One thing that has changed, however, is the route through which people can enter our sector.
Although the A levels and university combination is still popular, RICS has helped to create a new Degree Apprenticeship to offer an alternative.
Not only do more vocational routes provide learners with the knowledge they need, they also ensure that young people understand how this knowledge can be applied practically – helping them to hit the ground running.
The Degree Apprenticeship pathway is just one way that we hope to provide a pipeline of talent for tomorrow, alongside other initiatives such as our Surveying the Future campaign. Surveying, and the wider construction industry, are both growing strongly – now all we need are the skills to capitalise on that growth.
Global director of Built Environment Professional Groups, RICS