Commercial skills in the public sector

Construction site, commercial skills in the public sector

With budgets continuing to shrink the public sector is charged with delivering higher levels of financial, social and environmental returns from development. Boroughs are returning to building their own homes, buying assets, rethinking use of their existing estate and under pressure to attract more external investment. Financing and funding sources are changing fast and new public-private partnerships and delivery options are emerging.

This requires a new set of skills for planning, housing and regeneration teams. The challenge is recruiting staff with the necessary commercial skills. Those who can make the most of these opportunities and communicate effectively with their suppliers, partners and clients to ensure that long-term benefits are realised for the communities most affected.

Building on the research and intel gained through Future of London’s Paying for Public Projects programme and the Council-Led Housing Forum, FoL is delivering a training programme that responds to the need for the public sector to generate greater wealth through their project delivery and become more self-sustaining at a time of continued austerity. Future of London will develop and deliver a series of practical training events to upskill local authority staff in commercial skills.

Our practical training events are aiming to cover key topics, including:

  • Negotiation – a full-day course to cover the theory and practice of negotiation, how to prepare for meetings, valuing your leverage and recognising and applying successful tactics. Relevant to those negotiating S106/CIL, visibility, land deals and partnership agreements.
  • Maximising your assets – a half-day workshop to help think creatively about how to achieve the best economic, social and environmental value from your assets and how to engage your property colleagues.
  • Setting up contracts – a half-day workshop with advice and guidance from legal professionals on how to establish heads of terms, assess risk, establish clarity and focus, and speed up the development process.
  • Viability – a half-/full-day workshop on how to understand, communicate and negotiate viability and interrogate viability assessment.

Get involved

If you would like to share your experience and intel on current public sector skills gaps or are interested in partnering with us on this project, contact Nicola Mathers.

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