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RICS celebrate Young, Black and Talented with support of DTSA!

Another show-stopping event recently took place at the global home of the Surveying profession, in Parliament Square, where the over-arching feeling by attendees was one of hope and greater visibility of viable career options.

Historically, the UK construction sector has failed to embrace an inclusive and representative talent pool, often overlooking swathes of the population for reasons that have been well researched and remain well documented. Bola Abisogun OBE, Founder and Chairman of DiverseCity Surveyors, a staunch campaignerand promoter of all things diversity, equity and inclusion has, following his 32 month sabbatical at the University of Cambridge’ Centre for Digital Built Britain, begun to conflate three sectors with a view to opening career opportunities to young people and specifically young Black men. He went on to say, “the ever-growing digitalisation of the construction industry has presented significant and emerging career opportunities with a focus on #digitalconstruction. My team and I, via the Digital Twin Skills Academy ‘DTSA’, intend to bring these exciting opportunities to life and present a genuine and accessible opportunity to an undervalued and overlooked contingent of the non-traditional talent pool. With an increasingly data-driven, ‘golden thread’ environ, it’s time to positively disrupt the sector with tech native talent.”

Credit: Raj Gedhu / DiverseCity Surveyors

Hosted by the DEI Lead at RICS, Sybil Taunton and her colleague Paloma Armora Bujosa, the ‘ground-breaking’ Moving On Up / WIN event was a fabulous success, as seen below in the remaining 99 of 100 visual objects.

Led by the GLA and the Mayor of London via the Workforce Integration Network ‘WIN’, the team at DiverseCity Surveyors have been working closely with an eco-system of fellow game-changers including The Equal Groupand Action for Race Equality.

London Mayor, Khan said: “It’s simply not right that young, talented and ambitious young black Londoners are not being given the opportunity to prosper in the capital’s thriving tech sector.

He added: “I’m determined to ensure no Londoner is left behind as we recover from the pandemic. Someone’s life chances should never be limited by their family’s background or the colour of their skin.”

The mayor’s scheme takes a systems approach, instead of focusing on skilling-up this part of the workforce and encouraging them to apply for jobs in the sector, it brings businesses together to look at existing practices and ways of working, to discover the barriers for young black men gaining entry.

The keynote at the event was delivered by Dr Debbie Weekes Bernard, Deputy Mayor, for Communities and Social Justice, who went on to say “Businesses play a vital role in ensuring London's workforce reflects its diversity. Was good to join @AREMoU_ to hear what employers, supported by the @MayorofLondon WIN project, are doing to remove barriers for young Black men. Great to see so many young Black men in attendance!”

Of course, the event would not have been possible without the Young Black Men themselves, including spoken word celebrity Giovanni Rose who delivered his own lived experience of life across the capital as a young Black man [Guardian, 05.10.22].

What followed was an interesting and thought provoking panel discussion. Co-Chairs, Bola and Sayid, began the discussion by posing the following question to each panel member:

“Businesses are beginning to understand and grasp the Business case for overarching ED&I initiatives. Despite this young Black men are still underrepresented at all levels of the sectors this event represents. What more is needed for leadership to be truly transformative and recognise the barriers young Black men face to enter and progress within construction, tech and financial sectors?”

DiverseCity Surveyors are indebted for all our Moving On Up Employer partners who attended on the day, with particular thanks to Rebecca Scott, Global Talent Resourcing Program Management, Jacobs and Poonam Flammarion, CloudReach.

Moving On Up Ambassador, Keifer Royal - sharing his lived experience with the audience.

Further and extended thanks are pointed to not one, but two, amazing Moving On Up Ambassadors. Panellist Keifer Royal and co-Host Sayid Sharif - both did exceptionally well and clearly have exciting careers ahead of them too.

HUGE round of applause for Alhaja Sidikatu Abisogun #OBE, for raising young Black men across London including her son, Bola....!

Industry leading disruptor, Joseph Michael Daniels, Founder of Etopia, introducing the ground-breaking digital platform, set to disrupt 'traditional' learning practices, the Digital Twin Skills Academy, where he remains Vice President and Co-Founder.

Jeremy Crook OBE, CEO of Action for Race Equality with Tony Hyland MBE of DWP and Bola Abisogun OBE

Further lived experiences as a young Black Man, by Arthur Ntale, Chair of the MoU Employer Champion Group

Industry representative, Stephen Cole, Head of Careers and Strategy at the CITB - offered unfailing support as always.

Joesph and Bola, the disruptive 'DTSA' Duo!!

Alhaja Sidikatu Abisogun OBE with DWP 'young people' specialist NessaA of PCS CIC, both taking a break.....

Cec Richards / SLENKY and Ashley Samuels of Transport for London - offered their warm support to the Young People in attendance. We look forward to working with them both.

NessaA with Bola and all round industry ally, Phyllis Abebreseh - Social Integration, GLA

Team Berkeley Group, led by Stav and Catherine with 2 x Young QS's in tow!!

Look out for more updates on the amazing and ground breaking initiative called the 'DTSA' Programme..!

Credit & Copyright _ Raj Gedhu for the amazing photography; further photos can be seen here.


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