Roger Thrush’s letter (19 January) is incorrect in its assertion that the RICS is having little impact with its visa campaign. In fact, it is currently working with the government to ease the shortage of quantity surveyors in the UK.

The parties are engaging in talks on the issue, following the presentation of a preliminary submission to the Home Office in November 2006, proposing adding QSs to the skills shortage visa list. The skill shortage requires us to radically rethink how we train and recruit construction professionals, otherwise it could have a dramatic impact on the whole industry in the next decade.

To demonstrate the severity of the situation, the RICS is currently undertaking a survey to ascertain the level of quantity surveying shortages across the UK.

Survey submissions are required by 31 January and will form part of the final case. Anyone keen to take part should contact Suzie Lynch via

There are no quick-fix answers on the issue, but the RICS is doing all it can to raise this issue with decision-makers and it remains a main priority for the organisation.

Michael Byng, chairman, RICS quantity surveying and construction faculty board