India is rapidly urbanizing to accommodate the rising population in its cities. As per RICS' estimates, India's urban population is likely to be at 600 million by the end of year 2030. The emergence of new cities and towns every year impels us to develop urban and rural infrastructure including housing at a rapid pace.
While the government has announced its target to provide housing for all by the year 2022, much has to be done on ground to implement this dream. But there are challenges - regulatory bottlenecks, lack of funding and skills shortage will continue to delay the process. The industry is particularly aware of the problem of skills shortage.
To execute the mammoth task of construction and development there is a constant need for qualified and skilled professionals. Reducing massive demand-supply gap of skilled professionals is fundamental for the industry to be able to deliver projects of highest quality, on time and on cost. And this shortage provides tremendous employment opportunities for country's youth.
Infrastructure, construction and real estate sectors have been driving the employment in the last one decade. According to industry estimates, construction has provided eight million new jobs between 1999-2000 and 2004-05. By the end of year 2011-2012, the employment in construction sector alone rose three times of that number.
It is noticeable that during the boom period of construction and real estate sector (period between 2006 and 2012), a significant share was added to the overall pie. The current requirement of skilled professionals demands for more. According to estimates, every year the industry needs around 5 million skilled professionals.
Variety of roles available
The three sectors, real estate, construction and infrastructure offer more than 20 different kinds of employment opportunities for a fresher across streams such as investment banking, mortgage, corporate real estate, consultancy, advisory, quantity surveying, construction project management and facilities management etc. These sectors will have millions of jobs that will be created every year. But students acquiring relevant skills will only be able to grow in their professional careers.
Opportunities also demands for specialized skills, as the variety of jobs demand for skills beyond the normal management job. Moreover, a number of technological advancements achieved over the last one decade as an outcome of the continued growth within sectors have made the arena even more challenging!
Thus, a student aspiring to join a particular segment should be well versed with the nuances of the profession or should have the subject knowledge and relevant skill set. A limited number of institutions have started offering courses on these specialized streams. Some specialized Schools have also been set up that aim to fulfill the industry need for skilled professionals.
To meet the target, it is thus imperative that more and more institutions are set up that offer specialized courses on various streams across real estate and construction sectors.
This can only be achieved by creating synergy with the requirements of the industry and setting up schools of learning for the sector to fulfill requirement of a skilled workforce. Collectively, educational institutions, large corporates and the government can prepare a roadmap for bringing such a framework in the country.
This article is written by Prof Anil Sawhney, Associate Dean and Director, School of Construction, RICS School of Built Environment, Amity University