Developing Local Talent
Inspiring the Next Generation

The UK, and particularly the built environment and construction industry, is facing a crisis: fewer young people are starting careers in this field, while an ageing population and political uncertainties undermine Britain’s economic future. We’re determined to provide positive solutions to meet these challenges and create a strong, resilient workforce. We want to do all we can to inspire the next generation and create leaders of the future.

How We Provide Lifelong Support

How We Provide Lifelong Support


We are committed to making our workforce more reflective of the local population. As part of our efforts, we hosted a special construction event for International Women’s Day, aimed at changing young women’s perspectives of the construction industry. Fifty young women from local schools got to meet successful women from our business and hear their inspiring stories.




Our annual internship scheme offers real, hands-on work experience at Canary Wharf Group. In 2018, six young people from the local area joined the six-week scheme, which involved a range of placements in different departments. At the end of the placement, they made a presentation to management and representatives from their school, highlighting the work they’d done and what they’d learned.

We also host a work experience scheme. In 2018, 60 students from schools and colleges in Lambeth and Tower Hamlets gained invaluable insights into the workplace – helping to prepare them for the future.


In 2018, we partnered with the Construction Youth Trust (CYT) to support their Budding Brunels initiative, which targets school with high proportions of disadvantaged students. We provided an in-depth programme of site visits and meetings with architects to encourage students to consider careers in construction. Twenty-four students participated in the programme in 2018, of which 96% were from a black, Asian and minority ethnicity (BAME) background, and 71% were female.


We work with Open City, a charity promoting people-centred cities, to deliver Architecture in Schools. Our aim is to inspire the next generation who will shape the cities of the future. Through creative learning and the chance for participants to work with real-life design professionals, the programme helps Key Stage 2 primary school students understand how architecture shapes and informs our world.

In 2018, the theme was Shared City. Over four months, 50 classes from schools in 10 London boroughs designed their own ‘shared cities’. They reimagined their neighbourhoods to create spaces where people can come together to meet, learn, relax, socialise and be happy. Winning designs included a guitar-shaped concert hall, a nature garden and a community cafe run by residents.



In June, we threw open our doors to welcome Open House Families, a brand-new free festival of architecture exclusively aimed at children and their families. Hands-on workshops, architectural tours, craft and design activities, engineering experiments and storytelling sessions helped families discover our most exciting architecture and buildings­ ­– including the amazing roof garden at Crossrail Place.

Open House Families, run by Open City, encourages families to learn about London’s great architecture. It also inspires children to get involved in making and designing, and introduces them to career opportunities in a creative and engaging way. As sponsors, we are delighted to support all these ambitions.

students from classes across London took part in Architecture in Schools 2018
The learning journey the pupils have experienced has been so creative and collaborative – and working with professional architects was a unique and special experience


Our targets are designed to foster the next generation of our industry, with the skills and abilities to take us forward.
Read more about our 2018 progress against targets in our Measure chapter