The Academy of St Nicholas students visit RICS HQ

This term, 12 female students from The Academy of St Nicholas in Garston were invited to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) HQ, to inspire the next generation of talent.

Situated in Westminster, RICS is keen to attract the best and brightest talent to the surveying sector. 

Like many industries, surveying faces a skills gap.

Secure in the knowledge that the next generation are passionate about solving the world’s biggest problems, Tim Smith from RICS’ Thought Leadership Directorate, spoke to the group of students about sustainability and sought their views and solutions.

The girls undertook a spaghetti and marshmallow building challenge to mimic construction using sustainable materials. 

Matt McDermott, head of standards at RICS, talked to the girls about the lifecycle of a build schedule and how surveyors were involved in each and every stage.

Two successful female surveyors, Yvonne from Knight Frank and Selina from JLL, came and spoke to the girls about their career journeys during which they had changed careers, became mums and led on hugely impactful projects.

Later in the day, Angus Gull, historian and valuer, allowed the girls to handle and value artefacts – this was fun as one was worth £200K and another £2 and it was hard for the untrained St Nicholas valuers to tell the difference.

Mrs Katie Bell, head of design technology at The Academy of St Nicholas, commented: “Here at St Nicholas, we strongly believe that preparing our youngsters for the world beyond school is paramount to not only raising aspirations but to also increasing awareness of the opportunities out there, however, we are aware that we cannot do this alone. 

“For this reason, we work closely with employers to ensure our students are given a wealth of information and guidance surrounding careers in a range of sectors.”

Mrs Bell added: “We talk about levelling up and sometimes where we are born puts us at a disadvantage geographically and economically, but the day spent at RICS made us realise the unjust disconnect between a passion to instil change and ability, and the likelihood of accessing careers that will put us in a position to lead on this, can be overcome.”

Sarah Noble, head of early engagement at RICS, said: “Thank you to Mrs Bell for organising the trip, the girls were a credit to your academy. 

“Their input and ideas throughout the day leaves us in no doubt that the future pipeline of talent is safe. 

“We hope that your girls will have a role in developing a low-carbon, equitable, healthy and safe society.”

Mrs Jeniffer Sing, headteacher of The Academy of St Nicholas, added: “A career in surveying can give our youngsters the ability to change the built environment, making buildings work better for our physical, mental and emotional health.

“It is really exciting to know that one day our young people could lead the way in combatting climate change through sustainable and ethical builds. 

“I’m so proud to see our students visiting institutes such as RICS and considering careers in this industry.”

The Academy of St Nicholas is proud to be part of All Saints Multi Academy Trust.

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