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#PQS2030 _ Berkeley Group develop 'new' QS Apprenticeship

RICS Digitalisation in Construction Report 2022

Credit: RICS Research

The future of the global surveying profession exists both within the current and future talent pool; working closely across the built-environment, we are uniquely positioned and want to shine a light on why ‘skills for a sustainable future’ are so important and likely to be materially different to our current and established norms; citing the global surveying profession.

“The global construction sector is estimated to generate £10 trillion output annually, with a strong expectation that annual output will reach £13 trillion by 2030. The industry has always taken on large and complex projects to meet societal needs. However, project performance is far too frequently below stakeholder expectations, sometimes damaging the levels of trust and the sector’s public image. In recent years, the sector has started to question the business-as-usual approach due to demand- and supply-side pressures. Digitalisation is playing a significant role in reimagining construction. As a result, the sector is seeing a significant acceleration in technology adoption, allowing it to leapfrog to more efficient production processes, business models, and value chains…” _ Anil Sawhney, Global Construction and Infrastructure Sector Lead, RICS, and Andrew Knight, Global Data and Tech Lead, RICS

Last year, on the 28.09.22, we got together with Dr Debbie Weekes-Bernard, the Deputy Mayor of London to launch the Digital Twin Skills Academy and seek to promote a new career path in the Surveying profession that we are framing as a Digital Construction Pathway. Working closely with colleagues at RICS we are embarking upon an industry focussed agile learning curricula that will inspire both the traditional and seasoned practitioner, as well as the upcoming ‘tech-native’ entrant.

Credit: RICS Research

For some time now, our Founder and Chairman, Bola Abisogun OBE FRICS, has challenged his peers about the relevance [and fitness for purpose] of the QS skillset. A huge fan of the value of apprenticeships, he has suggested that the industry, with a focus on Employers, need to bold in their demand led requirements, given the current low levels of digital maturity that continues to co-exist; specifically across many professional services firms. As for the contractor community, their drive is largely one of profit, so the incentive to do better is already ‘baked in’. Bola went onto say…..

“apprenticeships will become even more important in their application to bridge the working and learning challenge. The stigma of an apprenticeship has finally begun to wane and in many respects, despite the many nuances, they are capable of producing equal if not better equipped sector entrants….”

_ Abisogun OBE

Credit: RICS Research

At the current rate of adoption, the industry will likely ‘grind to a halt’ – introducing eye watering levels of waste, inefficiency and non-productive workflows – if digital skills are not prioritised for all actors and stakeholders. This is a cross-sector ambition that must be embraced by all and one that will encompass both the clients themselves and their entire, adopted supply chains.

Credit: RICS Research

“Professionals working in the built environment have a special duty to ensure that increasing digitalisation positively contributes to everything they do, ultimately enriching and enabling the communities they serve…” _ _ Anil Sawhney, Global Construction and Infrastructure Sector Lead, RICS, and Andrew Knight, Global Data and Tech Lead, RICS

Given the above, what does such an evolving [and rather exciting] landscape mean for the future of the Surveyor and the wider global Surveying profession?

  • The advent of AVM’s [automated valuation models] has been around for a while, what implications has this development had on the core-skills of the Valuer and the General Practice Surveyor?

  • The introduction of GIS and point-cloud solutions, has allowed the Land Surveyor to carry out desktop exercises, remotely and with increasing levels of skill, care and accuracy; what has this done to their traditional role and evolving skill-set?

In both cases what implications does this have for PI cover [e.g. noting the recent challenge created by EWS/1 certification] and the underwriting of 'professional risk' by brokers and insurance providers?

Credit: RICS Research

Irrespective of the RICS Accredited, Surveying Pathway, technology will literally and undoubtedly redefine the way professional services are designed, taught, delivered and ultimately paid for. Gamification will also have a clear role to play as the evolution of BIM and Digital Twins begin to take hold from a whole-life cycle and asset management perspective. Additionally, and as the lines between VR, AR and our current ‘analogue’ reality begin to fuse and immerse themselves into the 'mash-up' commonly referred to as blended spaces OR mixed-reality; it is clear to Bola that many of the future, budding Apprentices, particularly those of the tech-native genre, will be first to establish themselves 'on site' as an avatar. Although still a hugely relevant and important monthly task – and destined to remain so, ideally in perpetuity – walking the ‘physical’ site to simply carry out [and agree] the monthly ‘interim valuation’ may well become a thing of the past …….. morphing into something akin to a weekly, hybrid solution, with a greater focus on critical thinking, soft & people management skills.

With a keen and clear desire to engage a much wider and more diverse cohort of applicants, we look forward to supporting forward-thinking colleagues, at leading housebuilder and master developer, Berkeley Group, as they begin to explore ‘a new frontier’ in Digital Cost Management [aka Quantity Surveying].


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