Property firm joins West Midlands initiative to get young people into financial and professional services

The company joins the likes of PwC in engaging local young people with the lucrative sectors

Property services firm Cushman & Wakefield has joined a business, professional and financial services (BPFS) initiative to help the West Midlands region recover from the economic effects of COVID-19.

Delivered by social enterprise Ahead Partnership, the initiative seeks to grow the talent pipeline and has engaged 20,989 students to date. In terms of support, Cushman & Wakefield joins other major backers of the project, including PwC, Arcadis, and Pinsent Masons.

Entitled ‘Growing Talent #BPFS’, funding comes from Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP, Birmingham Education Partnership, and committed private sector employers.

The initiative was originally launched in November 2020 and brought over 15,000 students together with 58 volunteers and 23 regional employers. Recent activities include a mini virtual festival that engaged 500 young people in June 2021 through virtual spotlight panel Q&As with experienced sector professionals. The event also explored career pathways and the skills required for different roles in the BPFS world.

The initiative was developed when the UK faced a challenging job market due to the pandemic, which continues today. Furthermore, with the regional value of the West Midlands’ professional and financial services sector forecasted to double to £50bn over the next decade, it’s an opportune time to upskill local young people for roles in this lucrative sector.

Stephanie Burras CBE, Chief Executive of Ahead Partnership, said: “We’re extremely proud to see the continued success of our Growing Talent #BPFS initiative. The commitment of employers and volunteers has really demonstrated the sector’s collective investment in the future in this region.

“It’s proving to be a real sector-wide success story in this region, and we’re really pleased to welcome Cushman & Wakefield to our line-up of reputable employer sponsors, from SMEs to global firms. Initiatives like these make a real difference to society and enable volunteers to help young people envision a more positive future.”

Jon Leedham, Head of the Midlands at Cushman & Wakefield, added: “We are delighted to be joining Ahead Partnership and other employers on the Growing Talent #BPFS programme and to have the opportunity to host a series of events to highlight the range of opportunities in the real estate sector to young people across the West Midlands. We hope our involvement in the scheme will help young people in a practical way and help them consider different careers in property in the future.

“One example of this is our Apprenticeship Programme where we have invested in a number of talented individuals who, in partnership with our early careers programme, are developing their skills and moving towards qualification as Chartered surveyors. We very much look forward to them developing their successful careers within the firm.”

To find out more about the Growing Talent #BPFS initiative, click here.


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