Why having an apprentice can benefit you and Carter Jonas

25 Oct 2021 | Property Needs You

As a firm, we are always keen to look at new ways to bring new talent into the firm. With the introduction of the government levy for apprenticeships, we are looking to increase our apprentice numbers across the business. Read below Richard and Joseph’s experiences on why you should choose to hire an apprentice.

Why did you choose to do an Apprenticeship?

The structure of both earning and learning is what appealed to me most. I’m of the opinion doing a full-time master’s degree wouldn’t have been as beneficial due to the lack of on the-job experience undertaken during the two years studying. Then factoring in the additional student debt as well as net loss of earning and the apprenticeship became a no brainer.

Joseph Royale: Architectural Assistant

What are you enjoying most about the scheme?

I enjoy that it allows me to carry on working on live projects whilst allowing me time to analyse and evaluate current workflows and how these can be improved. This has led me to research how both existing and emerging technology could benefit not only the architectural team but teams such as geospatial and building consultancy.

Tell us about a typical day in the life of an Architecture Apprentice.

Not a great deal has changed in terms of work patterns. I take the allocated 3.5 hours per week which is purely for ‘off-the-job’ training i.e. academic study. During this time, I work on my university projects which follows a very similar workflow to the live projects we work on – this allows me to have a more practical view on academic projects and vice versa on live ones.
I also have four one-week intensives throughout the year where the cohort meets to complete certain tasks related to our projects. These weeks are great for networking and bouncing ideas and experiences off each other.

What have you learnt so far from your time as an Apprentice?

The most crucial things so far have been time management and critical thinking.
I have a high level of involvement in the live projects we work on, therefore, it’s important that neither my apprenticeship time nor work time is affected. Managing my time successfully and being more honest and realistic about how much time a task will take has been one of the most important things I’ve learned.

Thinking critically has allowed me to make better judgments and decisions on both live and academic projects: helping me to work more autonomously.

What do you think the benefits of Apprenticeships are to your team and/or the firm?

The infusion of academia and practice means that I have time to look at relevant business development initiatives that are relevant to the team and wider Architecture & Building Consultancy division.

In terms of a business case the apprenticeship means that I was retained in my role and therefore all the clients and projects I was working on before the apprenticeship have experienced zero disruption and a great level of continuity.

How does having an Apprenticeship differ from other qualifications?

The good thing is the academic qualifications remain the same: I’ll still receive my master’s degree and chartership. The significant advantages of the apprenticeship scheme are that your practical experience is uninterrupted, which is a huge advantage. Additionally, there’s more of a collaboration between industry and academia which I think benefits both sides.

Would you recommend colleagues to look into an Apprenticeship?

I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship for those looking upskill with zero disruption to their career or existing professional situation.

Why did you consider the Apprenticeship route with Joseph?

Joe joined us as a trainee with a view to returning to university and quickly became an important member of the team. By keeping him with us as an apprentice we felt he had the chance to continue to develop his technical skills with us whilst also continuing to flourish in a professional environment, enhancing his client relationship abilities and commercial acumen. It also means Joe can shape his development to align with our expectations as a future employer. Finally – it reduced the risk of someone else getting their hands on him!

Richard Love: Head of Architecture and Building Consultancy (Partner)

By keeping him with us as an apprentice we felt he had the chance to continue to develop his technical skills with us whilst also continuing to flourish in a professional environment, enhancing his client relationship abilities and commercial acumen.
- Richard

How does an Apprenticeship differ?

This apprenticeship differs from the traditional route on offer to Joe as he doesn’t return to university to complete his studies full time, but stays with us, studying part-time and extending this period. On balance, however, we hope this will allow him to be a more rounded, commercial, and vocationally experienced Architect than some of his more academically focussed colleagues.

What benefits does having an Apprentice bring to your team and/or the firm?

This is more about the individual. The question we asked ourselves was what benefit having JOE would bring to us. As soon as he joined the business, he was performing better than we’d expected and we knew we’d want him to be a long-term part of the building consultancy plan. The apprenticeship means that he can grow with us and help to shape us in a way that works for him, as well as us guaranteeing we end up with a talented and ambitious architect who understands and is suited to our business.

Would you recommend other teams to consider an Apprentice?

The apprenticeship is hard work and requires real self-motivation. It requires the right character to make this work but if you find them, I couldn’t recommend the approach highly enough. As well as the points I’ve made previously, it helps connect us as an employer to the student population and their studies better which helps us understand the future of our professions. Since taking on Joe, we have also added two building surveying apprentices to our ranks, in Jack Colgate and Iuan Chard-Harvey who are working on their building surveying degrees in London and Bristol respectively.

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