Bright Lights – Discovering Potential

By Anna Devlet
Head of Community at British Land

16 May 2017

We are delighted to launch Bright Lights, which brings together all the different skills and employment initiatives across our business and supply chain.

Bright Lights is an all-inclusive skills and employment programme designed by British Land to support people into work. The programme aims, firstly, to build people’s skills and, secondly, to directly link this talent with us and our occupiers and suppliers. It offers opportunities for people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.

As a business that crosses many industries, with different skills needs, Bright Lights is designed to be flexible and responsive to changes in supply and demand. We are focusing on apprenticeships, training, work experience, internships, employment programmes and graduate schemes with the end goal to enhance confidence and commercial exposure amongst jobseekers and deliver work-ready people for business.

We are very excited about the results Bright Lights will bring for our varied stakeholders.

It’s helping our retail and leisure occupiers raise the profile of the fantastic careers available, linking them with talent on their doorstep and acting so our places – and their businesses – are considered part of their local community.

We piloted our ‘Bright Lights Starting Out in Retail and Hospitality’ course, in partnership with around 30 retail and leisure occupiers. 75% of participating young people progressed into jobs and we’re expanding the course in the coming year.

For local communities, Bright Lights is helping local people discover their potential and grow – upskilling them and getting them into jobs/better jobs. For instance, our Broadgate Connect scheme is giving East Londoners early access to opportunities with Broadgate suppliers and occupiers, as well as support with CVs and interview skills, training and work placements – all whilst connecting Broadgate firms to great talent on their doorstep.

Bright Lights is helping our suppliers in sectors facing skills gaps and challenges, e.g. due to Brexit risks to the EU workforce, an ageing population and lack of apprenticeships. We rely on skills across many sectors to construct and care for our places, so their sustainable future is important for our business.

Through Bright Lights, over 100 apprentices have worked on the construction of Clarges Mayfair and 4 Kingdom Street. We’ve also launched our Apprenticeship Framework for managed properties, as we work towards our target for 3% of our supply chain workforce to be apprentices by 2020. Read a blog by Billy, plumbing apprentice at Clarges Mayfair.

For our employees, Bright Lights is part of our efforts to attract the best talent out there, at the same time as bringing diversity into our business e.g. through our graduate scheme that’s launching in September 2017, we’re going out to universities we haven’t previously approached, and through strategy internships, we’re reaching students who would otherwise go to management consultancies. 

This includes people like Omar, who came to the UK as a refugee from the war in Sudan and got a place on our Customer Service Apprenticeship scheme at Meadowhall; and Curtis, who got a job with one of our construction suppliers after he took part in an employability programme. 

Bright Lights is very much a collective effort. Many thanks to the people across our business, Broadgate Estates property teams, development suppliers and The Source Skills Academy, who are all critical to the success of the programme.

I am genuinely excited as to what results Bright Lights will bring.  

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