Meet the new recruits to the talent programme that increases diversity

Our second ambitious cohort started paid work placements across public and private sector organisations to launch their careers in housing and regeneration. So what does the programme offer?

The launch of the second year of our Emerging Talent Programme marks an important next step in Future of London’s commitment to increasing diversity in the capital’s built environment sector.

Thirteen new recruits from ethnic minority background started the programme of paid work experience in April. They will benefit from mentoring and leadership development training.

Ethnic minority groups are under-represented in the 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%).


Claudette Forbes, a Future of London board member and a former executive director of the London Development Agency, said:

“There isn’t enough diversity within the housing sector, particularly at senior level. So the Emerging Talent Programme is delivering a real practical solution to addressing that issue.

“It’s not just about providing them with training, it’s placing people in organisations for a considerable period of time so real results are being delivered.”

“The mutual support that a cohort provides for themselves is always important. But it’s even more important if you are in a minority within an organisation and need to talk to people who understand where you’re coming from.”

Work placements provide a wide range of experiences

Over the next 15 months, the new cohort will work on two paid placements with local authorities, housing associations and private sector employers across London.

Our first cohort started in January 2022 and will graduate later this year. Several of the recruits on the first programme highlighted barriers to entering the sector. Sometimes that can be about not getting a helping hand, not outright discrimination.

“I didn’t know anyone that works in the built environment, and I think that there was definitely a barrier that I didn’t know that this field even existed,” said Fahad Abid from the first cohort.

“It was only because I took a chance and studied Real Estate that I realised that there are so many different roles which were of interest to me.”

Future of London would like to thank all the host organisation for providing meaningful career development opportunities. They are:

LB Southwark; LB Haringey; LB Camden; LB Waltham Forest; LB Westminster; Greater London Authority; Altair; L&Q; Southern Housing; Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) and Yoo Capital

If you are an employer interested in offering placements to talented people starting their career in the built environment sector, find out more here.