The regeneration division of south London-based recruitment agency Chase Moulande provides personnel who have brownfield development skills.

Launched in 1997, the division has 5000 clients and 1600 applicants on its books. Clients range from local authorities, housing associations, New Deal partnerships, regional development agencies and economic development consultancies to specialist divisions of multidisciplinary firms such as Ove Arup & Partners and DTZ Debenham Thorpe.

The division fills posts in development surveying, estate regeneration, site acquisition, planning and property development, transport planning and project management. Many posts are in economic development, which involves facilitating business start-ups, setting up employment training and attracting inward investment, says Caroline Masundire, director of the division.

“Highly qualified, experienced regeneration specialists are scarce, and if you don’t know where to look, going through the recruitment process can lose you six to 10 months of a project,” adds Masundire. “By that time, regeneration grants from government or the EU, which have deadlines, may be close to their expiry dates.”

Two weeks ago, Chase Moulande’s regeneration division launched Renascence, a new venture that will provide training in disciplines such as project appraisal, winning and delivering bids, regeneration project management, project monitoring and evaluation. “A project manager of a large industrial development can afford to be much more hard-nosed than a project manager of a regeneration scheme, which is more about politics, partnership and exerting influence.

If you don’t do it right, people see it as tokenism rather than really engaging with the community. That’s why we launched Renascence,” says Masundire.

“This month the Urban Taskforce told the government that new types of people were needed to implement its 1999 report – good communicators with entrepreneurial spirit, not just traditional planners. We aim to bridge that gap,” says Masundire.