Ireland currently ranks 6th for economic performance, but only 23rd for infrastructure.
‘There are great opportunities in this sector but currently only 20% of Chartered Surveyors are women and that needs to change’
Thursday, 16th June 2016. The newly elected President of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) has said one of the main priorities of her presidency will be to address the skills shortages within the surveying industry in the coming years.
Claire Solon, a Chartered Planning and Development Surveyor said that the shortfall of qualified graduates coming into the profession could severely threaten the country’s ability to address the current housing supply crisis as well as our infrastructural deficit.
Research carried out by the Society earlier this year revealed that over 2,000 new job opportunities are expected to be created across the surveying profession in the next four years. However, based on current enrolment numbers, there will only be enough construction and property-related surveying graduates to fill just over half of them (52%).
Ms Solon, who is Head of Property at Friends First, said it was imperative that we have the qualified personnel to meet the needs of the Irish economy.
“It’s not only the construction of homes that we need these qualified graduates, it’s also for the delivery of infrastructure that our country needs to keep pace with the growth of the economy, such as office buildings, hotels, roads and bridges. Ireland currently ranks 6th for Economic Performance, but disappointingly only ranks 23rd of 61 counties in the latest IMD Global Competitiveness Report for Infrastructure.
“During my term as President of the SCSI, I will be looking at several ways in which we can combat this shortage to get graduates into the workforce faster such as on the job training programmes as well as accelerating routes for those interested in becoming surveyors. We’re rolling out our CAO change of mind media campaign to encourage students to choose construction and property courses. We’re working with accredited colleges and in-house to develop part-time & and modular programmes which enables people to work while studying or to convert graduates from other areas like business or economics into the property & construction sector.”
Ms Solon pointed out that women only account for one fifth of the Society’s membership and that needed to change.
“When speaking with female graduates, they often say that they were unaware of the vast array of professions that exist within the surveying umbrella. So I believe communication is key here, to really highlight the variety of careers within surveying in advance of students filling out their CAO forms”.
“For example, a surveyor such as Chartered Planning & Development Surveyor can be involved in managing teams from the initial viability study to the delivery of major building projects. A Chartered Facilities Manager could be tasked with organising the operation of high spec office premises for technology companies such as Facebook, Google or Ebay. If you prefer the outdoor life, Chartered Geomatic Surveyors spend most of their time on site, now using high-powered drone and sophisticated technology to map and survey land.”
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Contact Kieran Garry
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Note to Editor
Claire Solon Bio
As well as taking up her role as President of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland – the SCSI is the professional body which represents more than 5,000 Chartered Surveyors working and practicing in Ireland – Claire Solon was also recently appointed to Head of Property at Friends First with responsibility for over €500m of property assets.
Claire is a Fellow of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland, and a Fellow with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. She holds a first class honours degree in Property Economics and has lectured extensively on Valuation methodology on both Degree and Masters courses for DIT & SCSI.
Claire is from Mullingar originally but has lived in North Dublin city with her partner for the last fourteen years. She has two children, Cillian who is four and Cadhla who is almost two. Her hobbies include snowboarding, horse riding and reading.