Cushman & Wakefield signs up to help boost future skills

Growing Talent #BPFS – Cushman & Wakefield, a property services firm, is the latest forward-thinking employer to join PwC, Arcadis, and Pinsent Masons in a highly successful West Midlands business, professional, and financial services (BPFS) careers initiative.

Growing Talent#BPFS, delivered by social enterprise Ahead Partnership and committed private sector employers, has so far engaged 20,989 students in a concerted effort to support the sector’s talent pipeline and aid pandemic recovery across Greater Birmingham and Solihull. Following a successful launch festival in November 2020 that brought together over 15,000 students and 58 volunteers from 23 regional employers, the initiative has continued to inspire young people with opportunities in the BPFS sector via a variety of virtual and pre-recorded activities.

Exciting recent activity includes a mini virtual festival in June 2021 that engaged 500 young people via virtual spotlight panel Q&As with experienced sector professionals. The mini festival focused on career paths, skills needed for various roles, and the BPFS sector in the West Midlands.

With the pandemic creating a difficult job market and the regional value of BPFS expected to double to £50 billion over the next ten years, the much-needed initiative helps to address these challenges by boosting young people’s optimism for the future while also helping to meet future workforce demand.

Growing Talent #BPFS is delivered by Ahead Partnership, a social enterprise that works with businesses to design and deliver social value projects that create positive change in society. It is funded by Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP, Birmingham Education Partnership, and committed private sector BPFS employers.

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, said:

“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.”

Cushman & Wakefield held its first national Make An Impact Day last month, inviting colleagues and clients to make a difference in their local communities through fundraising or volunteering. To date, £40,000 has been raised for four educational charities that assist young people who have fallen behind or who have been disadvantaged as a result of the pandemic.

The Ahead Partnership-led initiative builds on four years of successful Professional Services Weeks in Birmingham by expanding activity to a year-round program in Birmingham and Solihull.


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