Celebrating Tomorrow’s Leaders

8 May 2019

Policy area: BPF

Lois Kay, Development Surveyor at Peel Environmental and Regional Engagement Officer on the BPF Futures Advisory Board, celebrates the BPF Futures Tomorrow’s Leaders Awards, highlighting the growth of the network and the achievements of its members.

I was honoured to travel down from Manchester to London to celebrate the junior professionals of 2019 at the BPF Futures Tomorrow’s Leaders Awards on 2 May, especially at a location as prestigious as the Houses of Parliament.

Echoing the sentiments of BPF Junior Vice-President, David Partridge and Roberta Blackman-Woods MP, who delivered the opening speeches at the awards ceremony, I wanted to commend the amount of successful, hardworking and innovative professionals that are in our industry, and were present on the evening. The awards are a fantastic opportunity to celebrate their contribution to the UK property sector, and allow for senior executives to see the contribution and importance of the work being done by junior professionals and BPF Futures.

My involvement in BPF Futures started 2 years ago when I attended the Tomorrow’s Leaders Awards. I joined a conversation about a network the BPF were looking to set up, and soon joined the Futures Advisory Board as their Regional Engagement Officer. I would like to thank the board, and the Chair, Harvin Chohan, who has been Chair for its first 2 years. Their dedication has ensured BPF Futures has already been able to make a significant and positive impact on our sector, and will continue to do so.

Today we have over 1,300 members which demonstrates the high level of interest from the junior demographic of our industry in progressing their careers, discovering interesting, urban projects, and learning how they can contribute to the relationship between the property sector and government.

The growth of BPF Futures has been a product of all our members and the joint efforts of the board in bringing their aspirations to life.

I asked other board members what motivated them to push this network forward. What makes it special in a world where people can be a member of so many other worthy networks and initiatives. For some, it is our collaboration with other networks, for others, our unique access to government policy and strategy which frames the world we all operate in. Our newsletter provides members with day in the life interviews, blogs and podcasts from government officials and our sector’s leaders, and BPF Futures has pushed government engagement and given a presentation to the Prime Minister’s Housing and Planning Advisor at 10 Downing Street.

We discussed what an Industry - Government partnership can do to make Real Estate and construction a first-choice career for both young people, women and for those from marginalised backgrounds and under-represented minority groups from the BAME, the LGBTI communities as well as opening up the sector to those with disabilities.

We all had something to contribute to this discussion, and we ourselves learnt a lot going through this process. That is something which we want for the network. For us to be able to show humility where we have a lack of knowledge, ask questions, learn and then create positive change

Moving forward our members will be working closer than ever before on the BPF’s policy work, so will have even greater access to government and more opportunities to represent our sector.

If we want a more diverse group of people as our sector’s chief executives, we must give them the learning and development opportunities that will get them there.

BPF Futures also looks to provide these opportunities through our diverse events calendar. This has included speed networking events, site visits to developments still under construction, Houses of Parliament tours and events such as ‘If I were a real estate investor’.

On the train down to London I reflected on the growth of the Futures network across the UK. London has the largest number of Futures members, but we are well represented in Manchester, Leeds, Bristol and Birmingham, and continue to grow in other regions.

I know from my work with the BPF that they have been increasingly working to understand and listen to the voices of regional organisations when discussing policy with central government. The BPF supports ambitious self-standing projects as well as understanding the importance of strategic initiatives and partnerships across the UK.

With growing new sectors and the built environment touching every part of the economy, we will be creating the environments and spaces to allow the growth of the country. In the next year, we hope to support the growth of our regional networks with an increasing number of events across the UK.

We thank the BPF for recognising the power and importance of the voices of junior employees of member companies. As a judge for the Tomorrow’s Leaders Awards I was so impressed by the information provided about each of the shortlisted individuals.

The skills and enthusiasm came across strongly in the submissions and the contributions to the real estate industry documented were just incredible. I found myself in awe of the work which my peers undertake as part of their jobs and in many cases as ‘extra curriculars’. With these individuals as our leaders of tomorrow there are some very inspiring and ground-breaking days ahead.

I have grown so much more in my knowledge of the industry through my role on the Futures Board, and know that by the opportunity to attend the events and access the material on our monthly newsletters that all Futures members can expand their knowledge of the industry and policy too.

I have been privileged to be part of the board as their regional engagement officer over the last 2 years and seeing all of the submission for the Tomorrow’s Leaders Awards made me truly value the industry and all that it is achieving.

I can’t wait to see what we, the next generation of property leaders are capable of.