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Sunderland office manager, Emma Graham, discusses the opportunities in the property industry


As March brings us National Careers Week, National Apprenticeship Week and International Women’s Day, we discuss opportunities in the property industry for young people, especially young women, with Bradley Hall Sunderland office manager Emma Graham.

While a lot has changed in the property industry over the past decade and there are increasingly more opportunities for women in the property and construction industry, females currently represent only 15% of the sector.

As an honours degree graduate in planning and development, chartered surveyor and a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and National Association for Women In Construction, my aim is to promote the wealth of opportunities for women in the industry and encourage children of all backgrounds to consider a career in property.

Many careers in property and construction are not actively promoted during school hours. Traditional careers and jobs that children see on a regular basis are at the forefront of their opinions and choices from a young age. As a representative for the minority of workers in the property industry, I am passionate about promoting this path to all students.

I attend several official careers events both with local schools, colleges and organisations to promote commercial, residential and property related opportunities for young people. Local seminars and meetings discussing ideas and best practice on what we can do collectively as an industry to address these issues are also essential to maintain momentum in the bid to develop local talent.

As an industry, we need to consider how can we ensure that recruitment practices are fair and that all applicants have equal access to opportunities and a good knowledge of the different routes and paths they can take. By educating the next generation from an early age, we can encourage careers in property or construction, and in turn safeguard our region from the predicted skills gaps which could damage our industry.

Bradley Hall offers a range of opportunities for young people taking their first step on the career ladder. For those taking the traditional route of a degree, the company welcomes placement students who often opt to complete a year of practical, real work training and experience, with many of these placement students going on to gain senior roles in the firm.

The company currently has apprentices in business administration and residential property letting and management, with trainees closely mentored by industry experts while undertaking a range of tasks and responsibilities. Secondary school work experience is also offered where appropriate, which allows young people the chance to experience the industry first hand.

Opportunities like this are essential to support not only the next generation of industry experts, but also the industry itself. With activity, deals and construction of commercial and residential property on the up and ambitious plans from government with a promise to create 300,000 create new homes a year, careers opportunities in the industry will continue to grow.