Ireland needs more graduates to fill a shortfall of 2,000 property surveyors

A new survey pushes for greater investment in education and technologies like 3D modelling.

By Jonathan Keane Reporter, Fora

IRELAND IS FACING a shortage of property and construction surveyors over the next four years due to a shortfall in third-level graduates.

A new report has found that there is set to be a shortage of more than 2,000 surveyors over the next four years.

Even though there has been an increase in students taking up property and construction courses, the rate isn’t meeting demand.

The report was conducted for the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI), which surveyed members of the society and drew from enrolment data from third-level institutions.

It said that between 2018 and 2021 there will be 3,739 new surveying positions created in the country but there will only be 1,577 graduates.

The shortfall is driven by economic growth of 3% per annum. This shortfall will double to 4,000 as the economy’s growth increases to 4%, it added.

Author of the report Róisín Murphy, a lecturer in real estate and construction economics at the Dublin Institute of Technology, said that the lack of supply of surveyors has exceeded the estimates in the previous report that covered 2014 to 2018.

The shortfall affects all levels of surveyors, whether it’s graduates or senior surveyors.

“As a result, the shortage of suitably qualified surveyors is likely to continue to put upward pressure on wage levels and ultimately on building costs,” she said.

Respondents to the survey also cited concerns around financing, taxation and Brexit.

Investing in education

SCSI’s director of education, James Lonergan, said that there was a need for further investment in third-level education to increase the number of property and construction courses.

[embed id="embed_2"]

Only one third-level institution currently runs an SCSI-accredited building surveying programme, he added.

“We also need to promote the profession more, to facilitate collaboration between the industry, the SCSI and the education sector while also encouraging experienced surveyors to return to Ireland.”

There’s been an “under-investment” in new technologies like 3D modelling and augmented and virtual reality, Lonergan said.

A number of respondents said that “the acquisition of IT skills must be a top priority for the profession as should the provision of advanced surveying qualifications more generally,” he said.

The report also highlights the need for greater gender, age and cultural diversity in the industry with the benefits “not being fully realised”.

Sign up to our newsletter to receive a regular digest of Fora’s top articles delivered to your inbox.