Having worked on 2 previous projects for Skills Insight (formerly Skills Impact), BRM was happy to jump on board once again to help guide them through their next big property project.
Skills Insight is a Not for Profit industry-led organisation focused on improving skills and training across the agribusiness, fibre and furnishings industries. They are currently experiencing significant organisational growth and have outgrown their existing office space in Carlton. They are on a month to month sub-lease overholding lease arrangement in this space, and were restricted by budget and timeframe so needed to find a solution quickly.
BRM’s vast experience with NFPs gives us unique insight into this sector, allowing us to properly guide clients through each stage of the property project, while taking into account such limitations. We learned how Skills Insight staff use their office, and gained an understanding of their future growth and organisational structure so we could map out the spatial requirements for their next space.
BRM conducted a property search, capturing both market and off-market options, before choosing 1010 Latrobe Street together with SI as its next home. The property search took place amid ongoing construction of a speculative fit out, presenting a unique set of challenges and opportunities. Skills Insight was able to make some minor alterations to the layout to accommodate their working style and the project is due for completion this month. BRM will manage this project through to the relocation to ensure a smooth transition into the new space.
This fantastic result was achieved through collaboration with Zak Seccull (Colliers), Chris Piasente (Artifex Property) and Intermain fitouts. It was particularly rewarding to work alongside Skills Insight, a long standing client with whom we enjoy a trusted relationship. We wish them all the best in their new space and look forward to guiding them through the next phase of this project.
We spoke to Wayne Jones, Executive Manager, Operations of Skills Insight about his experience with the project and working with BRM. Here's what he had to say...
Tell us about Skills Insight and the important work you do?
Skills Insight is a not-for-profit, government funded, industry-led organisation and one of ten Jobs and Skills Councils (JSCs). They work with stakeholders who share a passion for improving skills and training across the agribusiness, fibre and furnishings industries.
Appointed as a JSC by the Minister for Skills and Training, Brendan O'Connor, and the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry, Murray Watt, in late May, Skills Insight has already begun work on three new projects to address skills and workforce needs. They have also released their Initial Workforce Plan, which will serve as the cornerstone of their future work as a JSC.
Skills Insight’s industry coverage includes primary production, plants and animals, forestry and timber, textiles, clothing, footwear and furnishing, as well as emerging industries around natural resource security and environmental management. The people involved in these industries are connected by a complex value chain that is crucial to Australia’s communities, ecosystems and prosperity. When the skills of these industries are supported, everyone in Australia benefits.
Skills Insight takes a collaborative approach to work with all stakeholders to identify, forecast and respond to current and emerging skills needs and workforce challenges. As a JSC, they are responsible for workforce planning, training product development, implementation, promotion and monitoring, and industry stewardship.
What were you looking for in a new office space and how did BRM help you achieve this?
We needed a space that allowed for staff to be able to work in both an open office space as well as have various meeting/quiet/zoom rooms that would allow staff to collaborate with colleagues without disturbing others or run virtual meetings without being disturbed. The office needed to be located with great transport links for all staff and visitors to our office and easily accessible without the need to travel through the CBD and undertake many modes of transport to get to work. With some keen cyclists among the staff, there was a need to have good end of trip facilities so staff could securely stow their bikes and be able to freshen up before the start of work.
What were some of the challenges your project faced, and how did BRM help you overcome them?
We had a long list of requirements from staff and we knew that these would not be easy to fulfil in a market where such requirements were not easy to find. With the current thinking of landlords that all organisations want wide open spaces for desks is not thinking that meets our needs and over 7 years of being in operation, we have observed staff finding it hard to concentrate and work on complex projects when they were constantly being disturbed by everything going on around them.
Gab and Matt met with us at the beginning and considered all our wants and needs and through detailed analysis were able to filter through the plethora of offices available to whittle these down to those that were close to meeting our needs. After many site visits to potential offices, some good, some not so good, we were lucky to find an office space being reconfigured that gave us the opportunity to have a fit out that did meet our needs.
With the whole building being refurbished, it provided us with exactly what we wanted and our staff are excited to move to the new office and start the next journey of our operation as a JSC. Although our journey is not yet complete, Matt has been instrumental in assisting us through the interactions with the lawyers and property agents and ensuring the changes we have asked for in the new office have been done to industry standards and code.
How were your interactions with BRM staff?
The staff at BRM have been fabulous to work with. From day one we felt listened to by Gab and Matt as they considered our requirements and as they brought members of the BRM team into our project both Maya and Lindy have shown their passion and expertise to ensure that as the client we are getting from the landlord the fit out we are after.
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