Soundings is Recruiting

March 2018

Consultation & Engagement Assistant (Public Affairs and Construction Liaison)

Location: London, Shoreditch EC2A
Salary: £20k – £28k, dependent on experience
Apply to: with a CV and 1 x A4 covering letter

About the job
Soundings run independent public engagement and stakeholder consultation programmes on some of London’s most high-profile planning projects. We are looking for a suitably qualified engagement consultant to join our growing public affairs and construction liaison team.
Engagement consultants are a vital part of the team, providing support across a range of consultation projects at both pre-planning and construction stages. You will work alongside developers, local authorities, architects, multidisciplinary teams, agencies and communities. Consultants help to provide an integrated approach that actively supports complex design and development projects.

With an understanding of the role of consultation and engagement in community planning, they will be enthusiastic with good written and oral communications skills and organisational strengths. Knowledge of planning, policy and local government is important however this can be learnt on the job. An understanding of the role of graphic communication and social media to promote events and explain plans is expected with graphic skills an advantage.

This role offers a unique opportunity to make genuine contributions to large-scale regeneration and strategic projects for London. Consultation processes generally involve extensive community outreach and mapping, developing creative techniques for people to participate in the design and development process in a meaningful way and ensuring high quality communications and feedback loops are maintained to show how people’s views are valued in the process.

About Soundings
Soundings is a field leader in public consultation and engagement on built environment projects, with over 15 years’ experience creating and delivering bespoke programmes of community and key stakeholder involvement and participation.

Our principles of engagement are applied to all projects we work on wherever and for whoever, founded on the following:

Investment in communities will provide real opportunities creating social value and physical capital
What we do is place-shaping, where participation and collective action are an inherent element of. It’s a collaborative process, and builds a community of interest as well as an enhanced identity and outcome
To be successful we have to build trust and address responsibilities. This will increase social capital and community
Community empowerment means maximising stakeholder access to the planning and construction process and increasing ways in which people can take part and influence
Community engagement will have benefits for individuals who take part
Better design and outcomes for all through active participation

A great place to work:
Our people are our most valuable asset and we encourage people from all types of backgrounds to be part of our business, ranging from architecture and urbanism, to planning and geography, to community engagement and creative practice, as well as graphic design and communications. We encourage our staff to develop their skills and potentials and support them to meet their objectives. Everyone is treated with respect and at whatever level their opinions valued.

We offer an extraordinary working environment of collaborative working alongside dedicated, likeminded, ambitious and supportive colleagues to deliver excellence and the highest standards. In an ever changing and unpredictable context we have to be responsive to the needs of project timescales, community feedback and politics and sometimes challenging our clients when needed to ensure the best outcome for the project and process.

The range of regeneration and development projects we work on offer an unmatched insight into London and the huge transformation it and its’ communities are undergoing. Project teams work from ‘penthouse to pavement’ creating a unique experience.

Engagement consultant will:
Work flexibly, in the Public Affairs team across a number of projects
Support project co-ordinators and leaders engage and consult with project stakeholders including politicians and the hard to reach
Work alongside, and liaise with, architects, planners and other professional consultants
Help design and produce content for pop-ups, exhibitions and workshops
Help plan and set-up / take down events
Organise, attend and record meetings and events with a range of stakeholders
Database, analyse and report on findings from consultation
Follow other office duties in relation to project administration and quality control
Keep engaged with relevant and cutting-edge thinking

Essential skills and qualifications:
Be educated to degree level with an interest in the built environment
A knowledge of/interest in London planning policy at both City Hall and Town Hall levels
Competent level of IT skills (word and excel)
Comfortable dealing with people in public, enjoy public interaction and be a good listener
A keen eye for detail

Desirable skills:
Experience in community consultation and engagement, or through postgraduate studies
Understanding of social media including Twitter, Instagram, etc.
Experience of using programmes in the Adobe creative suite

Key qualities:
Proactive – take initiative to add creativity to consultation projects/events
Reliability and trustworthiness – be on time and aware of confidentiality
Energetic and friendly – willing to engage with people
Flexibility – ability to react positively to last minute changes
Collaborative- projects often involve working as part of a larger consultant team that consist of architects, the council/developer and various other practitioners related to a development /regeneration project

After you successfully complete your probation period (6 months), you will receive access to full company benefits including private health care, medical cash plan and income Protection
25 days annual holiday (and public holidays) in addition to time in lieu for qualifying weekend working

How to apply:
Please send your CV and covering letter of no more than one page to by Friday 23rd March, however applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and the position may be filled ahead of the deadline.
Due the large volume of applications we receive, we are unable to respond if your application has been unsuccessful.