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Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has welcomed Ulster University’s approached to recognising best practice by employers who provide structured training to all quantity surveying undergraduate students, through a joint training chartership.

17 companies have signed up to the Placement and Graduate Training Charter a tripartite partnership (professional body, university and employer) requiring employers to provide structured training to all Ulster University students taking part in the placement programme, which will provide accreditation towards professional body standards post-graduation.

This has significant benefits for students who will be better positioned to attain professional industry membership in the shortest possible timeframe once they enter the work place.

The Ulster University placement programme provides opportunities for students to interpret and practice their academic knowledge, develop professional and entrepreneurial skills and develop a knowledge and understanding of the role of the professional in a range of industry settings.

This is a voluntary charter; however, it is hoped to make this a compulsory requirement for employers participating in the Ulster University Quantity Surveying and Commercial Management placement programme from the 2020/21 academic year.

Professor Paul Bartholomew, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education, Ulster University said:

“The charter will have great benefits not only for students but also for employers as it provides a pipeline for them to recruit and retain highly skilled graduates. This will reap great rewards not only for the sector at a local level but both nationally and globally. Initiatives such as this drive standards and economic development not only for the construction sector but also more broadly across the economy.

Ulster University is a leading UK University for work-based and placement Learning. We place student employability and business engagement at the heart of our activities. By providing our students with opportunities to learn from the most ambitious organisations we ensure that they are equipped with the knowledge, skills and confidence to excel in key industry sectors. This first-hand experience in the workplace is what makes Ulster University graduates so highly sought after by employers. 94% of our graduates are in work or study within 6 months after leaving university.”

John Hughes President of Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) welcomed the new Placement and Graduate Training Charter:

“I was very pleased to visit Ulster University recently to hear about the excellent work being done to create the skills our profession requires for the future. The new Charter has an important role to play in achieving this goal.

“Technological advances in AI, big data computing and blockchain are set to radically change the way we develop land and manage property in our cities. These innovations are disrupting long established business models and have already encouraged a variety of tech firms into the property industry, such as Google’s smart city development in Toronto and Airbnb’s growing global dominance over the hospitality industry.

“Thanks to climate change, around the world our cities are becoming much hotter, wetter and wilder places. The uncharacteristically warm weather which many people in Northern Ireland enjoyed this summer is likely to repeat itself in the coming years. But a long-term heat increase could have severe implications for existing infrastructure in cities, typically designed for cooler weather.

“Chartered Surveyors work right across the life-cycle of the built and natural environment; developing land, constructing buildings, managing properties, and planning the supporting infrastructure. But these new forces are reshaping how we use the built environment, requiring a dynamic response from Chartered Surveyors, as well as clients, policy makers, government and regulators.”