Opening the door to property
Sydny Brogan, Sustainability and Stewardship Manager
15 August 2016
Unlocking Property is a stewardship project run by our Finance team that aims to encourage students from disadvantaged backgrounds to enter the real estate sector to increase diversity and attract more talent.
Our main activities include two separate work experience weeks across different parts of the business. Both of these programmes aim to be as interactive as possible and give the students a strong feel for our activities, including culminating in presenting a fictitious business proposal.
The outcome of this placement was definitely much more than I hoped for … my time spent at the Crown Estate was truly an unforgettable experience”Sanjidah, Work Experience Student
The first placement, this July, took place in partnership with IntoUniversity, where we immersed the students in our Energy Minerals and Infrastructure (EMI) portfolio. Here, students discovered more about our business activities and how they are supported by operational functions such as Finance, GIS, Media and Marketing. The presentation they put together outlined a well thought-out fictional development proposal – “Operation Dory” – to lay an electricity interconnector from the UK to Spain.
Recognising that many of the students may be the first people in their families to attend University, one of the most popular sessions we run is the University Experience chat. This is led by recent graduates from the business who put the students at ease about embarking on the path to higher education by sharing their experiences of university.
It’s not all office work though. The students also have the opportunity to see another side of our real estate business at Windsor Great Park…along with unique point of view from a hoist 30 metres in the air to experience how the forestry team get to the top of trees.
Every year in October in partnership with the Reading Real Estate Foundation's ‘Pathways to Property’ programme, we host the second week of work experience with our Central London team. This week gives the students an opportunity to experience property management and development, and this year the week follows the participation of our CIO, Paul Clark, in the ‘Pathways to Property’ Summer School.
The value of work experience for the students is clear, giving them practical experience and knowledge of the workplace – a competitive advantage when seeking an entry level role. Research shows that many employers believe work experience is valuable, with some rating it higher than A-levels.
Not only is there a wealth of opportunity for young people in this sector, we recognise that our commercial success will only be secured if we have a truly diverse work place that supports different and more representative ideas, captures the best talent and ultimately supports the long-term performance of the economy as a whole.