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Employers Core Skills Requirements of Graduates from Construction-Related RICS Accredited Courses

Skill is the manifestation of knowledge acquired through education, training and self learning. It is a description of the ability to transfer the knowledge acquired through education to new situations within an occupational area. Employers of construction professionals are increasingly more concerned about the core skills possessed by a fresh graduate coming to their organisations. In some cases, employers seem to be dissatisfied with the skill set possessed by fresh graduates in their employment. This project, commissioned by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), Northern Ireland (Construction Faculty), aims at examining the skills that employers would like to see in graduates coming out of construction-related RICS accredited courses. The project also aims at examining whether those who get chartered status have sufficient skills or the appropriate skills that employers are looking for.

Knowledge-Based Construction Cost Modelling

In the growing housing sector, new technology, products and materials are continuously being introduced. This opens up a vast array of material, product and technology combinational possibilities for construction design team to choose from. Tremendous efforts and time are needed to choose the appropriate cost optimizing combinations in order to fulfil the client's requirements. A mere focus on initial costs of products and technology no longer fulfils the modern day needs of constructed facilities. As a result, it is required to have a good grasp of a multitude of requirements ranging from initial costs, durability, quality and aesthetics to life cycle cost and zero carbon footprints. These require the ability to simultaneously evaluate multiple criteria in the optimization of the cost of technology, products and materials selected for building designs. This study aims at developing a knowledge-based cost modelling system at building design stage for optimizing the cost of selected technology, products and materials. The system which is presently being developed for roofing element has the potential to assist the design team and self house builder in making an informed decision of appropriate combination of technology, products and materials in a manner that optimizes construction cost.

Modelling Risk Impacts on Clients Cash Flow Forecast

The need for a reliable prediction of clients cash flow cannot be overemphasized. This is because a prior knowledge of project cash flow requirements helps the construction client to anticipate his likely future financial commitments and to pro-actively plan for them as well. Different researchers have made efforts to provide simpler and quicker techniques to assist both the client and contractors in forecasting their cash flow requirements. However, risk in construction has been identified as one of the inhibiting factors in achieving the desired level of accuracy of cash flow forecast. This project aims to review and assess construction clients cash flow management approaches in different project situations. It also aims to assess and model risk impacts on construction clients cash flow forecast. It is expected that the outcome of the research will provide a more reliable prediction of client�s cash flow as likely changes to client�s cash flow pattern due to risk occurrence are expected to be evident from the eventual model envisaged in the research. In addition, the project will aim at developing a maturity capability model which is expected to assist in determining the maturity levels of client organisations in devising and using risk impact models in their cash flow forecasting activities.