As a firm we are always keen to look at new ways to bring new talent into the firm. With the recent introduction of the government levy for apprenticeships, we are looking to increase our apprentice numbers across the business. In 2017, Carter Jonas had its first technical Surveyor join us, Sam Dodd, on the Commercial Surveying pathway in Leeds working closely with Bruce Allan.
Whilst I was aware of apprenticeships I didn’t specifically search for a candidate, rather Sam found us! During his work experience, he told us he was considering taking employment as an apprentice rather than going to University. We researched the University Course options and Sam decided that he preferred the surveying option over law or accountancy.
Bruce Allan: Partner
We always have graduates/placement students in the valuation team, so having your inexperienced surveyors is not new. An apprentice is, however, totally green. What Sam brings to the team is enthusiasm, eagerness and a willing pair of hands, however, one interesting aspect I had not anticipated is that through Sam’s learning it also almost a refresh course on things that you may have forgotten!
There is undoubtedly some difference in maturity between a graduate and an apprentice straight out of school, however, Sam has proven he is a very capable young man. Very quickly Sam has become an integral part of the team. He mixes well with the graduates in the offices and goes on Leeds young surveyors events. Sam has enrolled on an RICS accredited course with University College of Estate Management and is required to do webinars and prepare course work. We discuss weekly what course work Sam has to do and we work it with his CJ workload – some in-office hours, some outside of.
Absolutely, yes. Different departments/teams must however consider the variety of work they are able to offer an apprentice. It is important that the apprentice gets a broad variety of experience. It is also important their mentors have the time and patience to explain all aspects of surveying.
I was in 6th form doing my A-levels at Woodhouse Grove School. I was also working part-time at a hotel as a waiter/barista and playing rugby for school/club.
Sam Dodd: Apprentice
Whilst I was getting to the end of my A-levels I was realizing that I didn’t want to carry on doing full-time education. Therefore the option of University on its own was looking less appealing. Due to this, I couldn’t enter surveying as a graduate as I wouldn’t have the degree without going to university. I, therefore, started to look at other options and a higher apprenticeship route seemed best suited to me.
After completing work experience at an accounting firm I decided that I also didn’t want to be sat behind a desk 5 days a week. I, therefore, looked at different options which had a practical aspect to them and came across surveying. I then completed a week of work experience with Carter Jonas in the summer last year and as I was on site for 1 day and then in the office for the rest this appealed to me.
The most enjoyable part of the scheme is the fact that I am learning a completely new industry and profession. I am finding it very interesting. The fact that I’m earning at the same time is even better. I also like the fact that the university part of it is so flexible.
As an apprentice, I was expecting to get given all of the jobs that no one else wanted to do however this is not the case, mostly. I can write full reports, take phone and email inquiries on potential jobs and visit a lot of sites. Generally, a typical week for myself will be 1-2 days on-site, 3-4 days writing reports, doing research and when I have some time in the office or at home I will do my university work. This includes webinars, reading, and writing up assignments.
I have learnt a whole new profession. I have learnt a lot about not just valuations (my department) but also all the other different departments in both the Leeds office and firm-wide from attending networking events. Also as I am studying remotely, I am continually learning from my courses. I am currently doing a law module and a people management module of which I am learning new things with each study period. I have also become better at communicating with people who I don’t know, especially when it comes to seeing clients on-site and at networking events.