MATCHING ACADEMIC QUALIFICATION WITH MARKET NEEDS:A CASE OF CHANGING QUANTITY SURVEYING SKILLS

ABSTRACT
In Kenya and elsewhere, much of the debate on skills need has been stimulated and led by
employer groups and individual employers. Ultimately, if current and prospective employees
do not have the skills needed to succeed in modern competitive work environments no one’s
interests are being served. However, countries like Kenya do not have a strong tradition of
employers and educators working closely together on matters of common interest. By
documenting the views of employers, and placing those in the context of developments in the
education and training sectors, this study can contribute towards building a common
understanding and shared responsibilities between industry and education.
This study focused on the changing skills requirement of the Quantity surveying profession,
impact of skill change to both new entrants to the workforce and established employees and
response by practice and learning to skill change. Employers are clearly a key stakeholder
group in identifying the skills people need to obtain, hold and develop in employment, and to
create new employment opportunities for others. It is therefore important for employers to be
as explicit as possible about the skills they require, and to work closely with education and
training providers in helping to develop those skills.
The general objective of the research was to conceptualize the changing skills and
competencies required for a Quantity Surveyor and determine if such skills and
competencies are advanced or offered by respective High education Institutes. The study
focused on reviewing published research and commentary about employers’ perspectives on
employees skills change requirement. The literature was drawn largely from the major
English-speaking nations. One of the main challenges was that there is relatively little of the
writing on employability skills grounded in detailed investigation of changing work
environments and their implications for work-related skills, or of the ways in which such
skills can be developed.
The research used the survey technique to allow for collection of substantial data regarding
what skills are changing in the Kenyan QS profession. One of the key conclusions of the
research is that employers still feels that academic institutions should critically address
changing skills by incorporating them in the curriculum. Additionally, there was need for
continued review of training needs of the established QS in order to remain relevant in the
construction market.