Enhancing future employment prospects
25 April 2016
Ben Anderson, Community Coordinator, discusses how we are introducing students to property development
When you were at school did you know what you wanted to do as a career? Maybe you wanted to be a nurse or a doctor or a journalist? Perhaps these were obvious choices, jobs that you had heard of or were widely recognised. The problem with deciding your future career at a young age is that you are never going to know about, or be exposed to, all the successful career paths available. Although we are by no means trying to be career advisors, we at Land Securities are in a great position to expose young people to the world of property!
In 2014 we formed an exciting partnership withConstruction Youth Trust, a charity helping young people in England and Wales to build better futures by giving them access to training, education and employment opportunities in the construction industry. Through this collaboration we created the ‘Introduction to Property Development Course’. It was especially designed to give students from schools local to our Victoria developments a valuable insight into the work involved in property development and also to engage them in our regeneration plans.
Every fortnight for four months a group of A-level students from City of Westminster School and Pimlico Academy have been meeting with members of our London, Retail and Leisure teams, who have volunteered their time to guide the students through the different areas of development including master planning, stakeholder engagement, finance and marketing. From the outset both groups of students were given the task to create a realistic masterplan for one of our existing developments 21 Moorfields in the heart of the City. They not only had to work together covering all aspects of this plan including marketing, sustainability and costs but they then had to present this idea to a group of judges in a ‘Dragons Den’ style presentation.
On 21 April, the two teams of students went head to head to pitch their respective masterplans for 21 Moorfields and bravely faced a panel of judges who included 'Dragons' from Land Securities as well as from Mace Group and Wilkinson Eyre Architects.
The first group to pitch, from Pimlico Academy, had branded their company ‘Knight’, a luxurious property company with an eye for elegant detail. Their masterplan envisaged a casino and hotel which would draw customers from all over the Square Mile and beyond. The second group, from Westminster City School, branded themselves ‘21 More Fun’ and it’s no surprise that their masterplan included a climbing wall, leisure facilities and pop-up catering offers. The diligence and hard work that had gone into both pitches was outstanding and included architect impressions, mock-up websites and some impressive financial predictions.
The judges then had the hard task of deciding who to crown the winner! After much deliberation ‘21 More Fun’ were named the winners and received a shopping voucher.
We don’t expect every one of the students involved in this programme to commit to a career in property development but many have already asked to arrange work experience with us which is a brilliant outcome. The multiple skills they have all learnt throughout the course will be a great foundation for any career when they enter the world of work.