Developers need to continue their engagement with communities on an ongoing basis, delegates heard at OxPropSummit on Wednesday (April 19).

The first session of the event at Worcester College on ensuring Oxford has an inclusive economy by bringing the local workforce with it, heard how the housing crisis is making it difficult to recruit the necessary skills.

Liv Thomas, graduate surveyor for Savills and chair of OxProp NextGen (pictured fourth from left), said vibrant places to work were needed with 25 per cent of the workforce likely to be Gen Z by 2025.

But she added: “Ninety per cent of graduates are priced out of the Oxfordshire rental market. If we are wanting to attract graduates to work in Oxford or live in Oxfordshire, we are going to have to create affordable places to live.”

Tom Storey, a consultant to the Oxford North team (pictured furthest right), suggested bringing in both local people and local organisations, and keeping the relationships going, is a way to tackle skills and housing concerns.

He said: “We have taken an approach where we’ve taken a step back and thought ‘where is there an opportunity to engage with not just the individuals, but also representatives of organisations and bodies and have a partnership with them, where there’s ongoing engagement?’.

“Rather than it being just taking over a town hall and putting up some boards describing what the development is, what we are looking to do is build relationships on an ongoing basis.

“In the same way that we’ve got a steering group leading on the employment and skills piece, we want to do the same with the community consultation, so rather than it just being an event where we talk about the development, it’s trying to listen to what people’s objectives are what their aspirations and ambitions are, to see how we can support them.”

Here’s the full list of stories from OxPropSummit 2023:

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