Emerging Talent Programme

Increasing ethnic diversity in the built environment

Emerging Talent Programme cohort 1 site visit to Meridian Water

The Emerging Talent Programme addresses the lack of ethnic diversity in the built environment sector. Find out why we offer work placements for career starters, and how to get involved.

Future of London is working with major employers in the public and private sector to give talented Londoners from ethnic minority backgrounds the opportunity to launch careers in the built environment sector.

Ethnic minority groups represent 18% of the population of England and Wales (2021 Census) but are under-represented in built environment sectors such as architecture (12%)planning (7%) and construction (6%).

Our first cohort started in January 2022, and the second cohort joined the programme in April 2023. During the programme, our recruits will work in long-term placements across housing, urban development, transport and regeneration. Placements last between six to nine months.


Claudette Forbes, Future of London board member and diversity champion, says: 

“There isn’t enough diversity within the housing sector and particularly at senior level. This programme is delivering a real practical solution to addressing that issue. 

“It’s very practical because the Emerging Talent Programme is not just about providing training, it’s placing people within organisations so they’re getting real work experience.”  

Opportunities for career starters and employers 

During the programme, candidates complete work placements with different host employers across London.  

Each placement offers experience of different professional job roles in housing and regeneration. The varied placements help candidates to develop their own professional network, which will open several future career paths. 

Candidates can combine practical experience with making a real impact in their job with their host employers. The first placement is for nine months, and the second for six months.  

The host employers include London borough councils, housing associations, government teams, and private sector companies – all working to build a better capital city. 

In addition to their placements, candidates are supported by:

  • Individual mentoring from an established professional to provide support and personal development
  • Exclusive learning and development sessions with the whole cohort to build skills, knowledge and understanding of the sector
  • Regular monitoring, support and guidance from Future of London
  • Support in securing ongoing employment after completing the Programme

More information

Employer information


Candidate information

Meet the candidates and mentors here and hear what they say about the programme below

Fahad Abid, Southern Housing, DP9 & LB Haringey

Safaa Usamni, DLUHC, MTVH & Arup

Rhianna Malcolm, GLA, Arup & Campbell Tickell

Podcast: Our experience of the Emerging Talent Programme
Listen here

Podcast: Launching our careers in the built environment
Listen here

Thanks to the host organisations for the Emerging Talent Programme