Homes England investing over £200,000 in Public Practice – See How To Participate

Homes England investing over £200,000 in Public Practice – See How To Participate

Homes England, the government’s housing delivery agency, and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) are investing just over £200,000 in Public Practice, the social enterprise with a mission to build the public sector’s capacity to improve places, to support the not-for-profit’s expansion across the country.
Public Practice plays a key role in supporting public sector authorities in London, the South East and the East of England to identify gaps in the capacity of planning and place-shaping teams.
The organisation then matches skilled candidates to year-long placements with the authority, which is supported by learning, development and knowledge sharing activity.
Public Practice will use the investment to expand its programme to other parts of the country.
Homes England’s partnership with Public Practice is part of the work of its Local Government Capacity Centre, which is designed to increase local government capacity and skills to make better places and homes.
It tackles head on the difficulty local authorities face in attracting and retaining built environment professionals and helps overcome this significant barrier to delivering high quality and sustainable places.
Peter Freeman, Chair of Homes England, says:

Authorities throughout England have told us that skills and expertise shortages are some of the biggest barriers they face to make homes and communities happen. Public Practice has a proven model for bringing these vital skills from the private sector to local government.

We set up the Local Government Capacity Centre to support just this kind of solutions-focused work, and I am confident that expanding Public Practice’s unique programme to areas outside of London and the South will make a real difference.

Public Practice’s expansion will be supported by extensive consultation, liaison, and research with authorities. This evidence will help shape the direction and approach for how Public Practice expands its unique programme nationally.
As a start, local government officers are invited to respond to Public Practice’s Local Authority Resourcing and Skills survey, which launches today.
This is designed to build understanding of skills gaps and the impact that a lack of resources has on officers and their teams across England.
The partnership with Public Practice comes as the Local Government Capacity Centre wraps up its 2-week long Winter Learning Programme, a series of knowledge sharing sessions aimed at local government officers.
Pooja Agrawal, Chief Executive, Public Practice, says:

Since October 2017, Public Practice has placed over 200 talented practitioners into place-shaping roles in over 50 authorities in London, the South-East and the East of England, with the objective of improving the quality, equality and sustainability of places.
This seed funding from Homes England, supported by DLUHC, will enable us to reach new places, work with new authorities and increase our impact throughout England.
Over the last few years, public authorities have demonstrated a huge amount of resilience, but we know that they need support to access the skills, capacity and capabilities to meet their ambitions.
The expansion of Public Practice’s unique programme will enable us to meet demand from authorities across the country that are keen to bring diverse skills, backgrounds and experience in-house.

We believe that we need a diverse and cross disciplinary public sector to lead the way to create high quality and sustainable places for all people. Over 90% of people we have placed to date have come from outside the public sector, and over 90% of our alumni have continued to work in the public sector.

Notes to Editors

  • Public Practice is a social enterprise, launched in October 2017 with a mission to build the public sector’s capacity to improve the quality, equality and sustainability of places.
  • Public Practice has placed 202 associates across 53 public authorities in London, the South East and East of England.
  • 90% of placed practitioners have chosen to continue working in the public sector beyond the end of the 12-month programme (based on the first 4 cohorts).
  • 92% of applicants have applied from outside of the public sector (based on the 2,190 applications received to-date).
  • Those authorities who have hosted a placement with Public Practice give a 9.4/10 NPS
  • Public Practice recruits roles to 12 discipline types.
  • Public Practice associates have consistently outperformed the built environment industry in terms of diversity and representation (for example, 64% of Public Practice associates identify as female and 24% identify as having ‘Black Asian and Minority Ethnic’ heritage). Public Practice is now looking to compare data to regional populations, more information in this blog.
  • Public Practice has support from the private, third and public sector including the Greater London Authority, Connected Places Catapult, Historic England, Berkeley Group, L&Q, Karakusevic Carson Architects, Dentons and RTPI.
  • Video of Public Practice in Greater Cambridge.
  • Image assets on Public Practice website.
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