BCO NextGen Midlands: Generation Z and the Workplace - Attract, Retain, Nurture

Expand Navigation

Workplace demographics are increasingly diverse and shifting; equally the way in which we deliver business service; becoming more granular, sophisticated and collaborative.

Start Date / Time 01 Dec 2021 16:30
End Date / Time 01 Dec 2021 18:00
Venue The Southside Building, 31 Hurst St, Birmingham B5 4BD
National No
Region Midlands and East Anglia
Type Seminar
Available to Non Members Yes


By 2030, Generation Z (born mid-1990’s to 2010’s) will make up at least 25% of the workforce; the generation known as ‘digital natives’; generally being more progressive in their politics, ethics and financial aspirations. How do we engage and provide for this diverse pool of upcoming talent who occupy and contribute to our thriving workplace landscapes? Are behaviours and values of employees changing and what impact is this having on our industry? Please join the BCO Next Gen and our exciting panel, representing a broad cross-section of our built environment for an informal discussion ‘in the round’, as we share ideas and the opportunities that we face in order to attract, retain and nurture Generation Z and beyond.

Click here to login and book your place.

< Back to Events


Rob valentine


Rob Valentine, Director of Leeds and Birmingham, Bruntwood (Chair)

Rob has worked with Bruntwood for 21 years, in that time performing a number of different roles, but mostly focussed on investment and development. As Director for Leeds and also Birmingham too, he is deeply passionate about the regional cities and the part they play in the economic and social development of the UK.

What does Rob look forward to exploring further at our event?   

Our known challenges are all too acutely apparent; the climate emergency, genuine inclusivity, endemic poverty and the structural obstacles to social mobility. None of these challenges are mutually exclusive - they're all related 

Whilst these challenges are recognised, they're going to take decades to fix with much of the responsibility for fixing them sitting with Generation Z, who as a demographic group have a very different value set to my generation; Generation X.

Z's are generally more socially aware, progressive in their thinking and recognise that we need a new way of doing things, a reprioritisation of our values. This is why I'm interested to hear from our future leaders; what their priorities will be and how they propose to tackle them.    


Ria Blagburn


Ria Blagburn, Operations Director, Vanti 

Ria spent the first decade of her career in marketing, starting her own award-winning consultancy in 2016 and supporting some of Birmingham's most promising tech companies. After developing Vanti's marketing strategy and messaging, Ria joined the business full-time in 2018 to lead the growing Service team before becoming Operations Director in 2021. Highly adept at identifying areas for improvement and working with teams to manage and implement change, Ria's focus is on optimising the operations of the entire business to enable Vanti to function as efficiently and effectively as possible.   

What does Ria look forward to exploring further at our event?   

Ria is keen to hear from others about what, if any, changes they’ve made to either their recruitment process or way of operating specifically to appeal to the generation currently entering the workforce, and the impact these changes have had.


Angel Gaskell



Angel Gaskell, Founder, HDY Agency

Angel is the Founder of HDY Agency, a content marketing agency in its 4th year, located in the creative heart of Birmingham. The agency has grown from 2 to 45 heads over the last 3 years, with 20% of staff falling in the Gen Z age category. Angel attributes business success to strong marketing, networking, and above all: team and client culture. HDY loves to share successes with a ‘be-more-kid’ attitude, developing a powerful promotional industry buzz! 

What does Angel look forward to exploring further at our event?   

Angel is especially looking forward to discussing culture and diversity and inclusion in the business, and creating a place where you can be ‘the real you'.



      Nathan Hurley, Research and Insight manager, Orangebox

Nathan has been a key member of Orangebox’s Research & Insight team for the last decade, his work aims to understand human behaviour within the workplace. This understanding will ultimately allow Orangebox to draw the right maps for the pre-pandemic world of work.

Nathan has published several reports with Orangebox including the latest report titled, ‘Why we need to stop talking about office buildings and start talking about Relationship Buildings™’. Nathan firmly believes that ‘the best brands are the ones that do the thinking for you’ and that consequently is the aim of Nathans’ research department within Orangebox.

What does Nathan look forward to exploring further at our event?

The younger people who occupy our workplace’s have been subjected to a ‘one-two punch’ of two economic crisis. One in 2008 and another during a pandemic – this has huge implications on behaviour. As a design community we need to concern ourselves with the needs of everybody, however our under-30’s may need some object consideration if our businesses are to thrive with them.