Future talent: RICS initiatives for the next generation

Careering on course

16 May 2018

Inspiring the next generation of surveyors is crucial to sustaining the profession. Karen Rogers outlines RICS initiatives to encourage future talent

Many people believe that the UK’s skills shortage in sectors such as construction is hampering economic growth, so RICS is determined to inspire the next generation of surveyors.

RICS Future Talent research shows that school students engage with activities that motivate and interest them, primarily in a non-academic format; we found that they were happy to develop their understanding through short, interactive experiences with their peers.

Inspire programme

Drawing on these findings, the RICS Future Talent team is working on several initiatives to raise the profile of surveying as a career of choice.

From mid-April until mid-July, RICS plans to engage with more than 51,000 school students across the UK through its Inspire programme of workshops, which are run jointly with educational consultancy EdComs.

School students engage with activities that motivate and interest them, primarily in a non-academic format

Using RICS’ insight about the profession and its desire to promote the vast number of career opportunities available to students, EdComs has designed a workshop programme based on small teams of students. During the sessions, the teams will complete project-based tasks and challenges that have been designed to provide a taster of the numerous careers in the sector, and reflect aspects of surveying and project management. These workshops are aimed at Year 9 or 10 students, and the intention is to engage with more than 9,000 students in the 2017/18 academic year.

These workshops are run by specialist educational facilitators but at RICS we have also started to recruit and train a targeted total of 300 engaged and motivated members to become Inspire ambassadors. Based across the UK, they will share their experiences and professional knowledge to bring the workshops to life.

School debates

In March, RICS partnered with an organisation called Debate Mate, a leadership and communication training business that runs after-school debate clubs in a range of schools. In the first debating sessions, 3,000 students from 150 schools across the UK debated a motion on the demise of the high street.

The Debate Mate Cup, sponsored by RICS, was held in April with regional winners from across the UK gathering in London for further debate on another topic relevant to the built environment.

Virtual reality

RICS will be exhibiting at all the regional skills shows, which have a potential footfall of more than 37,000 students. The shows will see the launch of the RICS World of Surveying app alongside the organisation’s existing careers material and brochures. The app will be used to enhance various interactive activities to engage students at these events, setting surveying apart from other careers as an exciting vocation that uses the latest technology.

The World of Surveying, available on both Android and Apple platforms in augmented and virtual reality, provides a 3D experience of various elements of the profession and allows the user to learn more about it. The aim is to open the eyes of users and broaden their understanding of the range of opportunities available.

These shows provide another great opportunity for RICS professionals to share their experiences and be role models for students who are keen to identify a worthwhile career.

Profession pathways

Once school students have felt inspired to consider a career in surveying, the RICS Future Talent team is keen to support the second stage of the process of becoming a fully qualified chartered surveyor, whether through an apprenticeship or an accredited university degree.

In 2017, several apprenticeship events for employers and universities have been hosted by RICS, and much greater resources are now being channelled into this area to build on such events. Key to the success of all these initiatives is input from RICS professionals, trainees, apprentices and employers. The Future Talent team invites individuals and organisations alike to volunteer for school workshops, careers fairs, university engagements or to share opportunities being offered by firms – please contact us.

Karen Rogers is a RICS Future Talent Manager

Further information