Economy boosted by offers to surveyor students
One of the first positive signs of economic recovery has started to emerge from the construction trade following an upsurge in companies offering student placements.
The growing demand for quantity surveyors shows that things are starting to slowly turn around and has sparked economic optimism within the construction industry.
In an unexpected turnaround, the University of Ulster has reported that the amount of construction companies offering placements far exceeded the number of students.
The welcomed news has prompted the university to call on more students to take up the quantity surveying course as students from separate courses had to be drafted in to fill the roles.
Ben Collins, the Northern Ireland Director of Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, believes this is a reflection of the construction industry which is exhibiting signs of economic growth.
However, Mr Collins said that the demand outstripping supply has sparked concern over the impact falling student numbers could have on the future of the construction industry.
Lecturer on the BSc (Hons) Quantity Surveying and Commercial Management course, Mark McKane MRICS, said the economic downturn has deterred under-graduates from applying to construction related courses, particularly quantity surveying.
"Given our experience this year, and the level of interest we see for quantity surveying in the year ahead, our expectation is that demand for placement students will outstrip supply again next year," he said.
"Whilst this is positive news for students on the course who are able to secure good, well-paid opportunities, it is not a trend we, nor the industry, would like to see continuing."