BCO announces free membership for students

 Danny Parmar, business development manager at Overbury and chairman of the BCO Midlands and East Anglia chapter

The British Council for Offices (BCO) has announced free membership for all students as part of a series of initiatives designed to help young people to forge a career in the commercial property sector. 

Undergraduate and postgraduate students will gain access to the full range of benefits available to other BCO members, at no charge. They include the BCO’s wide array of research reports, the recently published Guide to Specification and its NextGen Group’s activities. 

It is the latest in a series of moves by the BCO to encourage young people to join the organisation. Last month the BCO launched a free mentoring programme through its NextGen Group to allow younger generations of property professionals to draw upon the experience of more senior colleagues in the region. 

NextGen consists of members aged 35 or under, who receive discounted membership and access to exclusive events, including the BCO’s annual NextGen Awards. 

Danny Parmar, business development manager at Overbury and chairman of the BCO Midlands and East Anglia chapter (pictured), said: “I’m thrilled that students in our region will now have the opportunity to join the BCO at no charge. Whilst this initiative creates opportunities for people of any age, it will be particularly important in providing a pathway for young people to develop their career in commercial property. I am convinced this is where the impetus for change in our sector will come and so it is incredibly exciting that our industry is embracing a diverse range of aspiring property professionals from all backgrounds. As well as appealing to existing BCO member organisations, I believe this will be hugely attractive to our region’s colleges and universities.” 

Richard Kauntze, Chief Executive, said: “The UK’s workplace sector is at the forefront of confronting some of tomorrow’s biggest challenges, ranging from climate change to the rapid development of data and artificial intelligence. The new Guide to Specification outlines technical solutions to these challenges, but this change must be led by talented young people who can take our industry forward. 

“The BCO is committed to promoting and developing this talent. This began with our NextGen Group and is now followed by our student membership programme. I would encourage all students who are eligible for the free membership to sign up, our reports are incredibly useful for research projects and our events can help young people establish the first steps in their career.” 

Established in 1990, the BCO is Britain's leading forum for the discussion and debate of issues affecting the office sector. Its members are organisations involved in creating, acquiring or occupying office space, including architects, lawyers, surveyors, financial institutions and public agencies. 

To apply, students should download the dedicated Student Membership Application Form, which is available from the BCO’s website (www.bco.org.uk). Applicants will need to receive sign off from their relevant head of department and membership renews annually, so long as the member remains in study.