The Home Builders Federation (HBF) Future Talent Conference 2023, which took place 2nd-3rd March at Wyboston Lakes, brought together trainees, graduates and apprentices from across the housebuilding industry.
Offering the delegates insights on the main issues and challenges for the industry, the conference programme covered a wide variety of topics and featured talks from leading industry figures such as Neil Jefferson, Managing Director of HBF, Colin Cole, CEO of Lioncourt Homes, and Helen Moore, Group Director of Orbit Homes.
Keynote speaker, Lucian Cook, Head of Residential Research at Savills, opened the conference with ‘Lessons from a Career in Property’, sharing his personal story, both the highs and lows, and putting emphasis on the importance of continuous learning.
Following Cook’s presentation, Lydia McLaren, Associate Director at Savills, delivered an incisive update on the housing market, offering a comprehensive analysis of the current position of the industry. She discussed the dynamics of supply and demand, factors affecting land values and, importantly, the challenges and key opportunities we’ll face in the future.
Helen Moore went on to emphasise the importance of being authentic to yourself and others when taking control of one’s career. She also discussed the significance of nurturing passions and translating them into inspirational leadership. As she highlighted the lack of diversity within the sector, attendees were reminded of their responsibility as future leaders to ensure the industry is increasingly welcoming and inclusive.
Addressing the pressing issues of sustainability and climate change, Sophie Coyle, Partner Relations and Sector Manager (Homes) of the Supply Chain Sustainability School, underscored the vital role that the next generation must play in addressing these challenges and making a positive impact on the environment.
The event also gave delegates the opportunity to attend a variety of interactive activities including strategic site finding, Modern Methods of Construction and improving the build quality of new homes.
Thakeham’s delegation was made up of members of its Finance, Communications, Development, Planning, Land, Construction, Engineering and Commercial departments, and the conference not only brought them together as a team but also allowed them to connect with their peers in the industry and engage with experts. This was an invaluable opportunity to absorb insights, contribute to discussions and build on their developing skillset and career prospects, as well highlighting their ability to shape the future of the housebuilding industry.
The words of Colin Cole, CEO of Lioncourt Homes, particularly resonated with attendees as he encouraged them to ‘stand back and do things differently’ in their careers, inspiring them to embrace challenges and adopt innovative approaches as the sector evolves.
Graduate Planner at Thakeham, Audrey Lo, said of the conference and her takeaways from it: “Getting the opportunity to attend an event like the HBF Future Talent Conference has given me confidence for future networking events. Being able to spend time with colleagues from Thakeham and meeting others from the industry who are at similar points in their careers made my first networking experience incredibly enjoyable!
I also found each of the speakers interesting and they really gave us food for thought for the future on the industry and our roles within it. All in all, I had a great time and got lot of value out of it.”
Thakeham is committed to providing the next generation of industry leaders with opportunities for growth and learning, and with ‘Building Future Generations’ as one of its Social Value pillars, knows the value of investing in the development of future talent.