WITH only 57 qualified quantity surveyors in Brunei, Association of Surveyors, Engineers and Architects (PUJA), are trying to encourage more local students to take up the profession to meet the increasing demand in the Sultanate.
"In Brunei, we are really very short of quantity surveyors, from our members there are 41 qualified chartered surveyors, and we have a few graduates and students that total up to 57 only," said Haji Mohd Hanafi POKDGSDRDLU Haji Awang Abdul Rahman, chairman of the surveyor division under PUJA.
He said that if compared to the related industries in Brunei, it is not enough.
PUJA is now encouraging young people to become quantity surveyors and within PUJA, there is a sub-group made up of younger professionals who are also trying to encourage their peers and talk about the profession.
Haji Mohd Hanafi explained that the importance of the role of a quantity surveyor has to do with being "very accurate" in terms of figuring out the cost of a construction or contract.
"Quantity surveyors shouldn't only estimate how much it is going to cost to construct the building but also in running the building after the project is completed and how much the client has to incur every month," he said.
The president of PUJA, Yang berhormat Haji Zulkipli Haji Abdul Hamid, and chairman of the organising committee of the congress said that "it is true that it is not easy to get experienced quantity surveyors" in Brunei.
"We hope that there will be new people coming in to take the profession of quantity surveying and PUJA is actively promoting career talks to local schools and colleges with the hope of attracting people, not just for quantity surveying but also for architecture and engineering," he said.
At the moment, both the government and private firms are able to look for their own quantity surveyors, this includes hiring them from overseas if necessary.
"It depends on the needs and projects, but the government is still allowing government departments and private firms to bring them in," he said.
He added that the government also provides scholarships for architecture, engineering and quantity surveying and that PUJA is working "indirectly" to encourage the youth to pursue these academic courses.
"We don't work with the government directly, but by talking to several agencies," he said.
The president of PUJA said that there are no local academic courses that is available for the youth to take however there are related courses such as Civil Engineering that is available at the higher national development level at the Institute of Technology in Brunei (ITB).
"We hope this will be available as we see that there is a need for more quantity surveyors," he added.
Professor Roger Flanagan, from the School of Construction, Management and Engineering at the University of Reading, and keynote speaker at yesterday's congress, said that this is the case for a high number of countries in the developing world.
"What people want is more cost management, they want things to be done properly and on time and on budget, safely and environmentally friendly," he explained.
He added that the challenge is getting a lot of the younger generation attracted to the profession.
"What we have got to do is to make it a dynamic exciting profession where opportunities are available," said Dr Flanagan.The Brunei Times
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
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