..... nothing is impossible [aka I'm-possible].
For the first time in almost a decade, there appears to be a convergent and consistent ‘cross-sector’ message across the real estate and construction industry. #Thoughtleadership and #DiversityOfThought is demanding that ‘change is required’ on a number of fronts. Much of our effort at DCS, during African American History Month, has been around creating and developing more meaningful, cross sector, strategic relationships with industry leaders and sector defined #gamechangers.
Starting with the natural evolution of a long-term working relationship between DCS founder and Chair, Bola Abisogun OBE and Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Obertelli, Community Development & Marketing Manager at Breyer Group, who together, are now working on a new #grassroots initiative to support the growth of the QS talent pool. Largely a consequence of the 1991/92 recession, the dearth of available talent, capable of undertaking the role of the Quantity Surveyor, has now manifested itself into a growing UK skills shortage; captured succinctly and now listed, officially, on the UK Government’s Shortage Occupation List [here].
An earlier milestone delivery meeting with Breyer, chaired by Bola was held on 17.02.20 at RICS HQ (hosted in the Presidents Dining Room by RICS; huge thanks to a staunch ally in the form of Belinda King, PA to Sean Tompkins, RICS CEO – both champions for positive change!). Amongst the customary ‘Photo on the Terrace’ much was discussed about the eligibility criteria for the targetted cohort of young people [aged 18-24years] who will be sought from the local community to embellish the thinking behind the pan-London ‘PlaceOfChange’ concept being developed by Liz with full support from Tim Breyer, CEO of Breyer Group.
As part of his PQS2030 initiative – under #PeopleAndSkills – Bola and Liz are working together to launch the Breyer QS Academy in March 2020. The timely re-connection has been afforded by a mutual colleague in the form of Amanda Winder, Hub-Co-Ordinator of the Mayors Construction Academy ‘MCA’ located at London South Bank University [aka MCA_LSBU].
Both Bola and Liz were appointed (by Amanda) to serve on the MCA Operations Board in July 2019 and have since committed to spend their time ‘pro-bono’ to support the various initiatives of the MCA, which in the case of LSBU, also offers Quantity Surveying at degree level. At the most recent Ops Board Meeting held on 19.02.20, and in full consideration of the wider industry ‘viability-push’ towards and awareness of degree level apprenticeships, it means that the MCA-LSBU is uniquely placed to capitalise on the development of this specific cohort of young, home-grown talent.
The MCA_LSBU has also set itself ambitious targets on diversity, including attracting BAME and more women into the sector; a current piece of work remains ongoing themed “how do we attract more women?”
On successful completion of the 8-week introduction course to Quantity Surveying, each participant could, following a successful interview with an industry Employer, go on to pursue a degree level apprenticeship, ideally at LSBU, whose current accredited RICS and CIOB offer(s), include Quantity Surveying degrees. As is to be expected, all RICS APC Pathways [including General Practice / Building Surveying / Project Management and Valuation] are constantly under review. With specific reference to the unique and changing role of the Quantity Surveyor, given the nature of current, global, industry (client-facing) demands and future trends, an attempt to keep up with the latest technological development(s), could prove to be a timely opportunity for MCA-LSBU over the coming months to support and gain better insight via PQS2030, now with unwavering support from RICS.
By bringing life to the concept and viability of degree-level apprenticeships, Amanda and her delivery team [including fellow ally, Kimberley Davis …!] have produced a number of ‘apprenticeship myth-busters’ including those shown below.
For more information – please visit the MCA_LSBU website
Finally, in an attempt to bring the above together and accord with the over-arching, strategic deliverables, as defined by the Mayors Office [GLA], DCS founder and Chair, Bola Abisogun OBE, was invited to contribute to a Senior Leadership, ‘Breakfast Roundtable’, convened by Beth Penwarden and Francesca Lewis, hosted at City Hall on 28.02.20.
The meeting, co-chaired by Beth and Francesca, was an attempt to conduct strategic #ThoughtLeadership that sought to address two key, well documented industry challenges, via a simple and uncluttered agenda:
Previously captured on LinkedIn by Beth [here]; the two-hour informed conversation was an eclectic mix of 'uncomfortable truths and seasoned perspectives', tabled by a number of industry heavyweights; a truly enlightening conversation – with many take-aways.
During the post-meeting networking session, it was good to re-connect with colleagues [old and new] particularly other BAME #gamechangers including the likes of Roni Savage, CEO of award-winning Jomas Associates, who remains at the helm of a London based, reputable firm of Geotechnic Engineers.
So, with regards the imminent launch of the Breyer QS Academy, in dogged pursuit of delivering greater #SocialValue and #purposebeyondprofit, we can confirm that the official launch event is scheduled to be convened at the Guildhall in Central London…….. more to follow.