Adam Burke, Position Partners’ Geospatial Manager NSW
It’s now a matter of rethinking the structure of survey practices or being left stranded, short staffed and priced out of the market.
Stating the obvious – there’s a shortage of qualified surveyors
A 2018 BIS Shrapnel study quantified what we’ve all been experiencing in recent years, and what is about to worsen dramatically. Nationally, globally in fact, there’s a dire shortage of qualified surveyors. In NSW alone, there is a current shortfall of 530. This is tipped to reach 680 by 2024.
The impact is being felt across a number of industries – construction, mining and general spatial sectors – and there’s a delay and cost knock on effect to our wider society.
Surveyors sit with accountants and lawyers as being relied on for the considered precision of their expertise. Until recently, chasing productivity gains and technology adoption have been left to the more dynamic professions. It’s now a matter of rethinking the structure of survey practices or being left stranded, short staffed and priced out of the market.
Position Partners sees itself at the forefront of the technology pursuit and is committed to helping transition the profession and the industries we support into a sustainable future.
Training job ready professionals
The education sector is playing catch up as it transforms its courses to train job ready people for the rapidly changing demands on our profession. But irrespective of it efforts, the core difficulty is the seeming impossibility of attracting students in the first place. School leavers are just not enrolling in surveying.
Our profession needs to attract Millennials. PwC polled 4,500 graduates across 75 countries to understand what was important to them. 60% said state of the art tech was important to selecting a profession. Those polled said money was not so key but progression and learning is critical to job satisfaction. They are up for new experiences. And we have a great message for them. Surveying is now tech driven. And everybody needs surveyors – it’s so transportable – urban, regional, country and remote, as well as having the potential to take them overseas.
The solution is for all of us operating in the profession to take on tech savvy Millennials and be more creative in how we leverage the vast array of standard and industry specific technologies. The fewer numbers of fully qualified surveyors are freed to complete work faster and more accurately.
Practicing what we preach
Position Partners actively engages Millennials. We bring them on as part of our team to learn by doing. We then support them as they sign up for university or TAFE studies as a result of having been ‘hooked in’.
We’re aligned with the 1300apprentice initiative. Within six months, our young recruits are talking with and supporting customers in their productive use of technology. Our workplace training matches the needs and culture of the survey profession. They’re not just any type of software techs, they are specifically survey support technicians. And it’s been great for our business.
Survey practices also now have need for skills that aren’t strictly of the profession. RPAS (the commercial alternative to pesky consumer drones) operators are transforming the quality and quantity of our output. If you’re using higher end tech, you’ll have an exciting business that will attract the best, most committed people. In a success cycle, your adoption of technologies will be faster and easier, with effective throughput to customer projects and contract completion.
Planning smarter for a smarter future
Over the next 32 years Australia’s population is expected to grow by another 14.9 million. The Millennials we employ today will still be working. They’ll be fulfilling our demand for design, infrastructure, homes, roads, dams, schools – for the betterment of society. You can put your quality stamp on a Millennial today.