Widening participation in the regeneration game
How do we interest young people in careers in planning and property? One Manchester-based initiative is breaking new ground, says Judi Greenwood.
Regeneration Brainery has found that there is an abundance of industry experts willing to share their experiences and top tips to a successful career in regeneration. We are always overwhelmed at the amount of time and effort professionals are willing to give freely to our workshops amid their busy schedules and work pressures.
We mostly rely on the experience and understanding of those giving careers advice. It is possible that some advisers and parents see the industry as a whole in a negative light. We need to work more collaboratively to bridge this gap.
The biggest challenge we find is in engaging young people in the first place. This largely relies on the pro-active facilitation of those working with them on a regular basis. Teachers, careers advisers and parents need a better understanding of the various roles involved in regeneration and the value that this has in building community.
“Giving young people an insight into potential careers is undervalued and under-delivered”
Efforts to attract young people into regeneration should show the various careers in a positive light; not only is it a professional industry with varied job opportunities for talented individuals, but regeneration also helps to shape communities and improve people’s lives. The use of innovative technologies and the rise of BIM are key ways to attract the interest of young people who have grown up in a digital world.
Regeneration Brainery is a great way of opening up a chance for young people to experience a wide variety of roles in the property industry, and regeneration in particular, that otherwise they might not see. We believe that giving young people an insight into potential careers is undervalued and under-delivered by our education system and industry. We need to make property more diverse, to benefit all our communities and so reaching out to a wider audience is the first step to show people what they could achieve and to open their eyes to the variety and exciting challenges property can bring.
The Brainery has one clear aim – to identify the next generation of property leaders. It does this by promoting the property industry to a diverse audience of young people who, without this initiative, may never have the opportunity to learn about how they can access a career in property.
There are a considerable number of challenges but for me it is about disrupting the traditional ways of getting into property so as to build a more diverse group of people from a wide range of backgrounds. If that is successful, then they will ultimately create better buildings and the spaces between – essentially, great communities!
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