Property Professionals Course
Deloitte and the Government Property Unit
Each year Deloitte, sponsored by the Society of London Treasurers, organises the Future Finance Leaders Programme, which is aimed specifically at building and enhancing the skills and capabilities required by the next generation of finance leaders in local government. The Programme includes a variety of guest speakers, each providing practical advice and guidance regarding the issues and challenges future finance leaders will face. It also offers participants an opportunity to develop their own personal skills and peer network.
Following the success of this Programme, Deloitte Real Estate established a similar programme for property professionals working in the public sector. This is set within the context of a major drive to transform the Government estate and the establishment of the Government Property Unit (GPU) in 2010, which aims to:
- Create an effective and efficient government estate;
- Provide value for money for the taxpayer;
- Dispose of surplus property in a way that maximises financial return;
- Boost growth and create new homes.
In 2014, Deloitte Real Estate worked together with the Cabinet Office & GPU to set up a focussed course to support the development of property professionals working within each Department. This included attendees from: the Home Office; VOA; HMRC; DWP; MOJ and MOD.
We worked closely with Sherin Aminossehe (Head of Government Estates Strategy and Delivery) and Andrew Howarth (Head of Capability Improvement) at GPU to understand how to best tailor the course to suit the requirements of the attendees. We concluded that a mixture of sessions over two days focussed on improving both technical and soft skills together with some networking opportunities would be most beneficial.
The course was held over a two day period and the key note speech was given by Bruce Mann, Cabinet Office finance director and the Executive Director for property across Government. He reflected upon the financial angle and what the impact on property had been and would be over the coming months and years. External speakers were invited from a range of organisations, including Hogan Lovells, Unilever and Crossrail, provoking topical and controversial debate.
The collaboration of property professionals and the skills learnt on the course have been positively reviewed and the course will as a result be run on an annual basis, ensuring senior professionals are given the opportunity to reflect and debate the future of the Government estate. Sherin Aminossehe (Head of Government Estates Strategy & Delivery, GPU) summarised the success of the event:
“It was good to have two days out of the office where we could all discuss issues that are important and relevant to all property professionals across government and to have some time to reflect and take stock. The speakers were all insightful and made colleagues think outside their usual routines... it will definitely be something that we would like to continue with next year.”