Unlocking Property

We provide work placements, offer mentoring support and deliver outreach activities to raise young people’s awareness of career opportunities across our business, helping nurture tomorrow’s diverse workforce.

Group talk

Through our Unlocking Property initiative, we aim to raise young people’s awareness of career opportunities across our business and the property sector to help address the current lack of diversity in our recruitment pool and assist in supporting our long-term commercial success – evidence shows that more diverse companies tend to perform better. We also aim to support community partners Reading Real Estate Foundation and IntoUniversity to assist young people from under represented backgrounds into careers in the property sector.

The afternoon opened my mind on my career options”

Outreach event Year 9 student

There are three strands to our programme: work experience and mentoring support for Year 12 students, and an outreach event for younger students.

Twice each year we welcome groups of Year 12 students keen to gain insights into career opportunities through work experience at The Crown Estate. Supported by members of our team, students get a feel for the work environment and the different roles across our business – in areas including property, finance and environmental science. They spend 5 days working with our teams on a scenario that mimics our business projects, from Central London developments to offshore wind farms. On the final day the students present to the business their proposal for a fictitious property deal, receiving feedback from the audience.

We also offer ongoing mentoring support for some of these young people, often the first in their family to go to university.

In addition, we deliver an outreach event each spring for younger students to introduce them to the world of property through games and quizzes.

The Year 12 students who join us for work experience are recruited by Reading Real Estate Foundation as part of the charity’s Pathways to Property free summer school for young people from state schools and colleges, which The Crown Estate also supports. Most Pathways to Property students have no family experience of higher education and many go on to study real estate at top universities, increasing the diversity of our future recruitment pool.

We also partner with IntoUniversity to recruit students for work experience as well as our outreach events for younger pupils. IntoUniversity is a charity that provides young people from disadvantaged backgrounds with the help that more affluent children receive as a matter of course.

Many of our employees who volunteer to support Unlocking Property report soft skills development, in areas such as teamwork, decision making, leadership, presentations, people management, mentoring and coaching.

Here’s what our volunteers say:

“The students’ response to the whole event was fantastic and made the effort all worthwhile. The day provided me with a real sense of pride.”

“Mentoring has been really rewarding – I’ve seen my mentee progress from someone who wasn’t that confident about her own abilities to someone who’s more of a go-getter, and not only got great grades and her preferred place in university but a scholarship to boot!”

Mentoring was a great experience that I really valued”

Andrew Williams, Financial Accounts Assistant

“I enjoyed helping a young adult fulfil their potential, in addition to improving my own communication and personal skills. It gave me more confidence and a sense of satisfaction that I contributed to making a difference.”

Here’s what Unlocking Property students say:

“It gave me a feeling of what office life could be like.”

“They have inspired me to work hard so I can get the best out of life.”

“There are endless opportunities out there just waiting for you to reach your hand out and grab them.”

“I left feeling highly motivated to never give up because of where I’m from or cultural stereotypes that I may face ... maybe one day I will become a CEO of a major company.”

Further information

Reading Real Estate Foundation's Pathways to Property

IntoUniversity's Support Programme