Strong foundations, set DiverseCity Surveyors off to strong start in 2020..!!
The new decade has presented us with a new perspective which in turn has cultivated a significant number of unique opportunities across the sector, via smarter and collaborative working relationships.
RICS_APC preparedness for the part-qualified and annual CPD undertakings for the post-qualified Surveyor, made the choice to pursue industry collaborations with organisations of a similar mindset, an absolute no-brainer. It has also proved to be a worthy focal point as we move into the second month of this #NewDecade. On the back of a hugely successful and historic AGM in November 2019, DiverseCity Surveyors ‘DCS’ ended last year on a strong note with a myriad of potential partners seeking more tangible working relationships that should ensure that both / all parties grow and ultimately scale their individual offer(s), together.
January has confirmed the interest of a number of new partnerships, both formal and informal. The common denominator(s) in all of our discussions is the clear, unapologetic and reciprocal intention of both / all parties to play to our strengths and ensure that the UK BAME talent pool is afforded the unfettered opportunity to excel at and succeed in their chosen careers. The dearth of Senior Level talent [and available positions] is currently being felt by many across the sector, and rather soothingly there does appear to be a clear mandate at Executive Director level, in an attempt to seek out the talent to fill these roles, albeit they are still very few in number. Notwithstanding, we are, after all is said and done, embarking on a journey of change, so whilst there is little need for a sprint, we desperately need to avoid the two-step, shuffled walk too........
As we enter National Apprenticeship Week 2020; we are fortunate that last month proved to be pivotal period of activity in the promotion of Degree Level Apprenticeships. Existing relationships continue to be nurtured with a couple of London based MCA Hubs who maintain an RICS Accredited degree level offer; including
London South Bank University; event held September 2019
Glasgow Caledonian University; event held January 2020
And with reference to CoNEL at their Tottenham Centre, there exists an MEP Services led programme which is currently being developed (along with industry and) with a view to equipping students with #BIM ready project capability. Separate discussions have also been held at RICS HQ, with Northumbria University and MOBIE [facilitated by Mark Southgate, CEO and Gerry Ruffles, Head of Education]. Future, detailed discussions with UCEM; Reading, Wolverhampton; West Midlands and UWE; Bristol are destined to reveal the breadth and depth of the DCS offer, simultaneously inspiring other RICS accredited Universities to work with us to ensure that their BAME cohort – in particular – is suitably prepared (i.e. future-proofed), and ‘industry-ready’ to both enter and positively contribute to the world of work.
More importantly the BAME talent pool, being created by the strong increase in numbers of those seeking degree level access into higher education is noteworthy and extremely inspiring. That many ‘non-traditionalists’ who had never considered the surveying profession as a viable career are seeking better guidance on the many entry level alternatives [including via Apprenticeships] shows that there is a clear and growing request for more visibility of their peers. The pent-up demand to ‘meet, greet & get to know’ other practising BAME professionals and align themselves with Mentors / Supervisors and, potentially, Counsellors, is a call to action to the entire sector, specifically DCS Members. Founder and Chair, Bola Abisogun OBE FRICS stated “it is not for me or others of my industry level of experience to remain the ‘go-to’ individuals for the next generation. This is a clear call to action for those Surveyors active within and across the global profession, to reach out to those DCS Board Members [listed below], all of whom remain contactable via the DCS Group on LinkedIn. We have less of a skills shortage and more of a skills challenge, so the need to ‘give back’ and support each other is so much greater; the next generation, need all the help they can muster.”
Bola Abisogun OBE FRICS; Founder & Chair
Justin Carty MRICS; Vice Chair
Samuel May MRICS; Communications & Marketing
Arnold Musisi MRICS; Strategy & Corporate Engagement
Karen Ching MRICS; APC / CPD and Life-Long Learning
Note: we have, rather regrettably, had to say farewell to a number of Board Members; in the form of Sophia Nesro, Alexander Smith, Faith Locken and Audrey Vanderpuye. We thank them all for their significant contributions and are actively progressing discussions with other, keen supporters of our raison-detre. We would welcome further support from others within and across the sector who unconditionally, align with our core values and wish to give back to the profession on a ‘pro-bono’ basis. If this is you, do get in touch!!
However, it is also largely accepted that in order for a true appreciation of the BAME talent pool to exist and be achieved at all levels, there must also be a greater effort (by industry leaders) to create an appropriate workplace environment that, at the very least, proffers a culturally competent experience for all. By this, we mean that appropriate training should be offered where possible and group-think administered to ensure that the APC Competency extolling the benefits of diverse teams is fully embraced and understood at all levels in the business, regardless of the size of firm. Whilst the RICS IEQM initiative continues to enjoy a number of industry successes, there is still so much more to be done to achieve the over-arching and key objective which is a much more diverse profession, sufficiently reflected in the data driven metrics, that capture the relevant gender and [future] ethnicity pay gap reporting requirements.
So, in this #NewEra of UK opportunity, productivity and commercial prowess, let us all take a moment to reflect on life before we left and life as it needs to be as we move forward; remembering at all times, that we are and forever will be, #StrongerTogether