British Land is working with partners to increase awareness among young people from diverse backgrounds of the choice of careers in real estate, raising their aspirations, developing their skills and helping them to pick the right subjects to benefit from opportunities in the industry.
- 136 students gained insights into careers in the built environment through the Construction Youth Trust’s Budding Brunels programme.
- In partnership with Reading Real Estate Foundation, British Land supported 135 sixth formers from state schools and colleges through Pathways to Property summer school.
- The programme supported 174 apprenticeships.
- British Land supported 22 exceptional individuals through an internship programme, developing their skills and giving them an intensive immersion in real estate.
- The programme contributed to the future diversity of the industry - 46% of Pathways to Property students were female, and interns came from countries including China, France, Italy, Lithuania and the Philippines.
- By working with suppliers and others to support apprenticeships, British Land developed a skills pipeline in areas that the business and its supply chain will need in the future.
- The programme helped build relationships with occupiers, suppliers and local communities, and made the company more likely to be a partner of choice.
It was clear to British Land that the real estate industry was failing to attract young people from diverse backgrounds and that long-term this would affect business performance. Most real estate students at top universities were educated at fee-paying schools and around two-thirds have family connections in the business. Black and minority ethnic representation is very low, as is the proportion of women in the industry.
British Land developed a long-term plan to address this, starting with schoolchildren and continuing beyond university. Initiatives include Budding Brunels with the Construction Youth Trust and Pathways to Property with Reading Real Estate Foundation.
The industry - British Land and its suppliers - will benefit by filling future skills gaps and creating a more diverse workforce.
What British Land's Chief Executive said:
“The fact that property professionals are mainly white, public school educated blokes needs addressing. There is a convincing amount of evidence from right around the world that businesses succeed better over time if they represent and to some extent ‘mirror’ their stakeholders. That is why British Land is delighted to support programmes such as Reading Real Estate Foundation’s Pathways to Property summer school and the Construction Youth Trust’s Budding Brunels initiative. These programmes are tackling the problem at its core; they are increasing awareness of our sector to help attract students from more diverse backgrounds to consider real estate as a possible career.” - Chris Gregg, Chief Executive British Land