If David Attenborough was making a programme about the Irish construction industry, the Quantity Surveyor would be discussed in the reverent, hushed tones reserved for the most endangered of species. The camera would approach, stealthily, for fear of startling this rarest of breeds.
For the most part, our wonderful Quantity Surveyors have made like the Animal Kingdom and migrated to lands bearing better fruit. Those that have remained risk extinction, such is the volume of work they find themselves carrying. With estimations and tender submissions flying out the door on a daily basis, there has never been a greater need for the QS!
What’s on offer for those seeking a return to the motherland, or those seeking a new challenge?
A quick look at the CIS and we can see the incredible diversity of schemes in Ireland at the moment. A few high-profile projects currently underway and nearing completion include the new Central Bank HQ (http://www.irishtimes.com/take-a-look-inside-our-new-central-bank-hq-1.2971129 ) and Ballymore’s €700million Dublin Landings (http://www.irishtimes.com/business/commercial-property/dublin-s-docklands-will-be-transformed-in-new-700m-plan-1.2819072 ) – these are paving the way for the Construction Industry for the coming years. Similar landmark projects are being announced daily in a city brimming with confidence again.
The housing market is tight – there’s no denying it, and competition to rent or buy is fierce. But it’s not prohibitive. The options are there and the value is there, it’s just takes more creative thought and an opening of minds to explore new areas and locations that we didn’t know or didn’t explore as students! The underlying issue of housing is being addressed – this week the RIAI and the DHPCLG are holding a joint conference to discuss this. Proactivity like this will hopefully begin to resolve this problem as well as continuing to bolster the growth in our industry.
You can be confident that you are coming back to a candidate-led market – where your skills and experiences are in extremely high demand and you’ll be paid accordingly. As the market has picked up over the last 2-3 years the comparable salary increases have been slow – but this is changing.
Increases of anywhere between 20 -30% in salaries on two years ago, plus benefits and travel, are now commonplace.
And what if it all goes bust again? There’s no denying that this is a volatile market, the first to grow and the first to crash. But there seems to be a significantly more risk averse attitude this time. There simply isn’t the same unhinged panic to win the race and those that are delving back into this market are doing so with quiet confidence, – and serious caution. All we need are some seriously good Quantity Surveyors to keep them in check!
For those who held out in Ireland during the downturn, doggedly sticking with it when there was little to be positive about – there are so many opportunities in the Irish market now. Contractors and consultancies are offering excellent salaries and benefits, training and development for junior candidates, and a chance to get involved on some of the most interesting and exciting projects Ireland has on offer. The project variety is huge – whether it be housing or hospitals, commercial units or company headquarters. There has never been a better time to look around and dip your toe back in the market – the rewards are there, if you’re open to them.
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