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We are one month into 2017 and it has already proven to be politically unpredictable (a lot like 2016). There’s no doubt that 2016 will remain in our memories for many reasons that had an impact on the Town Planning sector. These being ‘Brexit’, as well as the wait for the Housing White Paper and the election of Donald Trump who has not been out of the headlines since the US election results.
Despite many believing that Brexit would have an immediate and negative impact, there remains plenty of optimism and promise across the Real Estate market in the UK. Undoubtedly, the EU Referendum vote created some uncertainty within the market but the general feeling from our clients has been one of "business as usual". In fact, some of our clients' recruitment plans have been brought forward. Any longer term impact of the vote remains to be seen, however in the medium term, we expect recruitment in the Planning sector to continue as workloads increase as does the demand for both experienced hires and junior recruits.
Foreign investment drives demand
Foreign investment into London is aiding the growth of the Planning sector by increasing workloads for the consultants but also creating new opportunities for Town Planners to make the move client side. The Financial Times reported that Chinese investment into the UK Real Estate market rose by more than half in the last year. The last quarter of 2016 saw Cobalt Recruitment working with a rising number of developers and house-builders across the UK. In particular, we have been extremely busy in London speaking to experienced Planners on behalf of our clients that include major developers, foreign investors and house builders all seeking internal planning expertise.
Whilst London is receiving plenty of attention from foreign investors and appears to be at the centre of the Brexit debate, there is also high confidence regionally. Notably, Manchester has an exciting year ahead with the city hosting its first mayoral elections and a skyline that boasts plenty of cranes. Our regional office affords us a great insight into the market and there are plenty of growth opportunities for experienced Planners as our clients grow existing teams and some companies are opening their first offices outside of London.
Housing will remain as a central issue in the Planning sector throughout 2017 as we await the next White Paper. The issue of Housing creates a great opportunity for those with experience in the sector to embark on a fresh challenge with a new consultancy or to head client-side. The post-Brexit government reshuffle has placed Sajid Javid in the hot-seat as far as we are concerned and we now await the impact of his ideas on the sector.
As we start 2017 we are extremely busy within our Town Planning team and we have varied opportunities nationally for Planners of all levels. We expect graduate roles to be rising throughout 2017 and we are keen to speak to those seeking their first opportunity in the sector, as well as those feeling the time is right for a fresh challenge.
Article written by Jason Moore, Town Planning Recruiter
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