I was pleased to see your leader and the article on visas for overseas QSs (16 February, pages 3 and 32).
As a graduate training provider for many QS practices I see first-hand the impact that visa restrictions have on them. Fortunately, there are growing numbers of overseas candidates joining the RICS assessment of professional competence (APC), but firms have to waste time justifying their employment and candidates often have to make expensive trips home to get visas processed. One candidate had to return to Malaysia just before she was due to sit her APC final assessment. She passed and is working here, but the strain on her was enormous.
However, just sorting out the visa problem will not solve the skills shortage. I am also a member of the QS and construction faculty board at the RICS. In April I will be chairing our third employers training forum, which brings together employers, universities and trainers to discuss how we can encourage people into the profession while maintaining standards. It is essential that, in addressing the skills shortage, we do not allow the standards of the profession to fall.
Mike Wood, Talkshop