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Cushman & Wakefield Signs Up to Help Boost Future Skills


Cushman & Wakefield is the latest forward-thinking employer to join the likes of PwC, Arcadis and Pinsent Masons in a highly successful West Midlands business, professional and financial services (BPFS) careers initiative. Delivered by social enterprise Ahead Partnership and committed private sector employers, Growing Talent #BPFS has engaged 20,989 students to date, in a concerted effort to support the sector’s talent pipeline and aid the pandemic recovery across Greater Birmingham and Solihull.

Following a successful launch festival in November 2020 which brought over 15,000 students together with 58 volunteers spanning 23 regional employers, the initiative has continued to inspire young people with opportunities in the BPFS sector through a range of virtual and pre-recorded activities. Exciting recent activity includes a mini virtual festival which engaged 500 young people in June 2021 through virtual spotlight panel Q&As with experienced sector professionals. The mini festival explored career pathways, skills required for different roles and the BPFS sector in the West Midlands.

With the pandemic creating a challenging job market, and the regional value of BPFS forecasted to double to £50bn over the next 10 years , the much-needed initiative helps to address these challenges by boosting young people’s optimism for the future while helping meet future workforce demand.

Delivered by Ahead Partnership, a social enterprise that works with businesses to design and deliver social value projects that create positive change within society, Growing Talent #BPFS is supported by funding from 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.”

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

The Ahead Partnership-led initiative builds on four years of successful Professional Services Weeks across Birmingham, extending activity to an exciting year-round programme across Birmingham and Solihull. More information on Growing Talent #BPFS can be found at Ahead Partnership’s website



Richard Coleman, Head of Communications EMEA
Richard Coleman

Head of EMEA Communications • London

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