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Increased demand for QS roles as confidence returns

As the market has improved in the past year, cost consultants, project managers and quantity surveyors have been able to take advantage of the increase in work across the UK.

“The UK construction market is particularly strong in London and the South-east, but it is also noticeably growing in the regions,” Sweett Group managing director for Europe Derek Pitcher says.

“The market has continued to grow in the last 12 months across all of our principal sectors, most notably infrastructure and energy.”

This improvement has increased clients’ confidence and means projects are coming to market more quickly than in recent years.

“We are also seeing clients moving on from feasibility stages to committing to major long-term building providing greater confidence to the construction sector,” Mr Pitcher says.

Good news for recruitment

The increase in work and confidence also means firms need to recruit more employees in this sector to keep up with demand.

“Sweett Group is recruiting for a variety of roles across all of our geographic regions,” Mr Pitcher continues.

“Our core business sees a need for freelance and permanent cost consultants, project managers and building surveyors at all levels, ranging from apprentices and school leavers through to senior practitioners.”

“We have recently undergone a large recruitment drive which has seen us recruit a volume of both graduates and also apprentices into the business”

Derek Pitcher, Sweett Group

This drive reflects the general improvements across most sectors in the industry.

“The diverse nature of our business, however, means that we also have a need for staff in our more specialist areas, ranging from due diligence to capital allowances and CDM positions,” Mr Pitcher says.

The range of roles companies need to fill also means recruitment in the sector is varied, ranging from from senior roles to entry-level positions.

“We have recently undergone a large recruitment drive which has seen us recruit a volume of both graduates and also apprentices into the business,” Mr Pitcher says.

“These positions reflect our strategy to organically grow our business and promote from within wherever possible.”

What you can expect to earn

Recruitment firm Hays says that there has been an increase in permanent roles, with the upturn prompting companies to invest and plan for the future.

“Employers are looking to invest in their staff and retain high-quality professionals on their teams, particularly given that they are approaching the next 12 months with full project order books,” Hays Construction director Duncan Bullimore says.

Salaries are on the rise too, with employers “generally willing to pay what it takes” to get the high-quality staff.

“Employers are looking to invest in their staff and retain high-quality professionals on their teams, particularly given that they are approaching the next 12 months with full project order books”

Duncan Bullimore, Hays Construction

“In addition to salaries, benefits packages are also an attraction tool, where pension plans, a car allowance, healthcare plans and potentially bonus elements are on offer too,” Mr Bullimore adds.

When recruiting, Sweett Group emphasises teamwork and collaborative working as much as experience in a role.

“We look for a range of attributes, dependent on the skill set we recruit for,” Mr Pitcher says. “Our key competencies revolve around the necessity to work as part of a team and to communicate with others.

“Working collaboratively with both our own teams and also our clients is a way we differentiate ourselves and these softer personal skills are imperative.”

Sectors on the up

Many sectors are coming back strongly, with Mr Bullimore saying that demand for quantity surveyors has increased “at all levels within the commercial and civil engineering sectors, and particularly within the last six months in housebuilding”.

Mr Pitcher agrees, citing an increased need for staff on large mixed-use schemes and public sector work.

“In addition to this, we have an increasing need for both freelance and permanent staff within our infrastructure sector to complement continued growth in this sector,” he adds.

Growth is no longer confined to London and the South-east; demand is increasing across the country.

“Our requirements are in ever-changing localities dependent on client needs and we can be recruiting at any of our 21 offices in the UK at any given time,” Mr Pitcher says.

“Market trends currently are resulting in recruitment drives in London and the South-east, Scotland and around our North-east hub of Leeds.”

Future demand

The demand looks set to continue for some time, with confidence returning to the industry.

“We foresee continued growth as a business which will result in increased recruitment needs,” Mr Pitcher says.

“Our European strategy highlights the importance we are placing on recruitment, as identifying the right talent is fundamental to our standards of service delivery.

“We forecast this trend to continue across the next year and will result in significant volume of recruitment needs.”

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