Securing the future of cadastral surveying in Victoria
In 2008, the Surveying Task Force Inc. was formed to address the looming skills shortage facing the profession and to ensure there would be a sufficient supply of Licensed Surveyors to meet the future needs of the Victorian community.
The path started down then continues to be paved with success to this day.
Surveying is a profession critical to effective land administration. It is at the heart of every construction project, and therefore at the heart of our built world. More than that; Licensed Surveyors are responsible for defining the boundaries of our world and providing surety to dimensions and areas of property titles to underpin the Victorian titles system.
The Task Force identified that without enough high school graduates studying surveying at university or TAFE, there was unlikely to be the number of surveyors needed entering the industry in the future. This skills shortage and ageing profile of the profession was seen as a major threat to the vitality and sustainability of the profession if not addressed head on.
Michelle, then a senior marketing consultant at mext, was charged with developing a brand that could help take surveying out of obscurity and position surveying as a career of choice. Undertaking thorough research with students, parents, teachers and surveying professionals, Michelle and her team worked through the data to develop insights into what surveying could offer that corresponded with student career needs.
This led to the launch of the Surveying – A Life Without Limits brand in late 2008. As the brand has grown, it has come to encompass a website, a social media presence, print and career resource collateral for teaching professionals and students, and the mobilisation of surveying ambassadors at career events and school career days. Lead nurturing and facilitating hands on experiences for students are also integral to the campaign.
While the initial approach was to connect with young people and increase student enrolments, the benchmarks for success have been increasingly met, allowing the Task Force to move the goal posts further and further downfield.
In short, the Surveying Task Force took initiatives that helped attract more people to our profession – and kept them there.
The numbers clearly demonstrate the effect this campaign has had.
Enrolments in surveying courses have dramatically increased since the Task Force began. RMIT University Bachelor of Applied Science (Surveying) new student enrolments totalled 26 in 2008 and are at a high of 71 in 2018. Vocational Education diploma enrolments in surveying at RMIT in 2008 sat at 26, while today they’ve soared to 115. Further, Melbourne University Master of Engineering (Spatial) enrolments have upped from seven in 2011 to 15 students in 2018.
Michelle continues to work on this campaign with her team at CDM. Today, the Surveying – A Life Without Limits brand continues to push forward not just in Victoria, but also in New South Wales, and, recently, Queensland and Western Australia.