Media & Insights

Landsec Futures open for business - a fund to enhance social mobility in real estate opens with its first tranche of interns

19 April 2023

  • The fund will be invested through four new programmes, launching today, and aims to create a fairer, more equitable real estate industry so it better reflects the communities it invests in
  • The fund will deliver £200 million worth of social value by 2030

Landsec is today unveiling the details behind its £20 million social impact fund, Landsec Futures. A programme committed to creating a fairer, more equitable real estate industry in the UK by enhancing social mobility and delivering £200 million worth of social value by 2030. 
The real estate industry is a significant employer in the UK, contributing over £94 billion to the national economy. While it’s made up of a wide mix of occupations, the industry’s workforce is lacking diversity, significantly in socio-economic background. An industry study found that nearly half (45%) of real estate employees attended an independent or selective state school.[1]* 

Landsec Futures addresses this need for greater representation in the real estate industry by investing in four new social impact programmes, centred around: 

  • Industry action, programmes designed to directly improve access to, and representation within, the UK real estate industry; and
  • Local communities, programmes to increase support available to the communities closest to where Landsec invests for them to fulfil their specific needs, enabling Landsec to partner with those already leading the charge to make a positive change.

Between 2020 and 2022, Landsec has supported over 4,500 individuals facing barriers towards employment to enter the world of work and has delivered £20 million in social value. The programmes announced today will build on this to shape an industry which maximises the potential of people, places and communities.
Jennie Colville, Head of ESG and Sustainability at Landsec commented: “Despite greater focus on diversity in recent years, we know the real estate industry is not where it needs to be if we want to create more inclusive, sustainable, and successful places that support people and businesses to thrive. We need our industry to include a more diverse representation of people from all walks of life, empowering them to lead change in the places they know the best.
“In addition to the programmes committed to today, we’ll be collecting data on the socio-economic backgrounds of our existing and future employees at Landsec as part of our new diversity and inclusion strategy. This will help us better measure the impact of our actions today and create an industry where everyone can fulfil their potential.”

Four programmes are being introduced under Landsec Futures include: 

  • Landsec Futures internships: developed in line with the UK Social Mobility Commission Toolkit, will see Landsec offer young people six months of paid work experience in a Landsec department of their choosing. The programme, which starts this month, will run twice a year, and offer eight candidates the opportunity to build skills through bespoke training and on-the-job learning experiences. All internships are entry-level and do not rely on previous work experience or university qualifications.
  • Real estate bursaries: In addition to internships, Landsec Futures will offer at least five students from lower socio-economic backgrounds a three-year bursary of up to £30,000. The bursaries will be available to students undertaking property-related courses or qualifications at university.
  • Employability partnerships: The industry needs more diverse talent. To address this, Landsec is evolving its approach to education and employment partnerships to work more closely to support people living in the communities where Landsec operates. Educational or employability charities in local areas across Landsec’s portfolio will now be eligible for three-year funding packages to further their work to get more people of all ages into a range of roles related to the real estate industry, faster. 
  • Community grants: Landsec is introducing a new unrestricted grants programme for charities local to the places where it invests, to increase funding for the most pressing social and economic challenges its communities are facing. Administered in partnership with Charities Aid Foundation, grants range from £1,000 - £3,000, and can be used for supporting not-for-profit organisations’ day-to-day work. 

Commenting on the impact of the partnership, Duro Oye’s Founder and CEO, 20/20Change CIC, said: “This new three-year partnership will enhance and accelerate the work that we do, by enabling us to support an additional 40 young people per year, who are long term unemployed, underemployed, or not in education training, grow their confidence and skills to secure roles across the sector. 
“Working with organisations like Landsec is important because young people don't know that companies like Landsec exist, let alone that they would welcome or invite them to work with them. They feel like roles within companies like Landsec weren't made for them, and this kind of partnership work is set to change all of that.”
Stephanie Burras, CEO of Ahead Partnership commented: “We’re delighted to be able to deepen and extend the rewarding partnership that we have enjoyed with Landsec over the last seven years. The exciting skills and employability activities we have already delivered with Landsec’s retail teams across the country, including mentoring and Made In sustainability challenges, have equipped hundreds of young people with the confidence and skills they need to succeed. 
“The new three-year partnership with Landsec Futures will allow us to scale the impact of these successful school programmes even further, and we look forward to working with Landsec colleagues to create opportunity for many more young people.”