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Colchester apprentices praise ‘amazing’ experiences – National Apprenticeship Week 2022

06 Feb Colchester apprentices praise ‘amazing’ experiences – National Apprenticeship Week 2022

Budding architects at Colchester-based Ingleton Wood have spoken of their “amazing experiences” of degree apprenticeships and are calling on young people and anyone considering a career change to learn more about the practical routes into construction.

For National Apprenticeship Week 2022 (February 7-13), Ingleton Wood, a property and construction consultancy with offices in Colchester and Billericay, is celebrating the success of three apprentices and strengthening its commitment to investing in local people and skills.

Kai Filbert and Asma Parker joined Ingleton Wood in September 2021 on four-year Level 6 Architectural Assistant Apprenticeships – equivalent to a degree and in partnership with London South Bank University, with the aim of becoming fully qualified Architect Assistants.

The qualifications are known as degree apprenticeships. They were launched in 2015 to help remove “outdated stigma” over vocational qualifications. Apprentices study at university and work part-time without having to pay tuition fees.

Kai, 19, from Basildon, said: “The best part of my degree apprenticeship is the experience compared to traditional university. We get the opportunity to work on a wide range of real-life projects that all count towards our qualification.

“I’ve done most of the design work for my projects, aided by support from Ingleton Wood’s expert and friendly teams. I get to experience all this practical design work now, rather than at the end of the degree, and I think that’s an amazing opportunity.”

Asma, 18, from Colchester, added: “I’ve always been fascinated by the built environment but wasn’t sure about the pathways. I’m a hands-on person and although I applied for university, when it got closer to the time, I realised I wanted on-the-job training while earning a wage.”

Meanwhile, 30-year-old Chris Wells worked in retail for a decade before switching careers and enrolling on a four-year Building Surveying Apprenticeship Levels 4-6 at Anglia Ruskin University, supported by Ingleton Wood.

He said: “For an older apprentice like me, it’s good that I am treated the same as anyone else in the office and am challenged accordingly. I’m learning new software, joining client meetings, and visiting sites to carry out progress reports.”

He said apprenticeships are a great opportunity to learn and earn at the same time. “The experience gained from working three or four days a week compared to just being at university and not working is incomparable,” he said.

“There is only so much that can be taught at university and an apprenticeship gives you the chance to learn practical skills – giving you a big advantage. There are people aged 18-45 doing the apprenticeship at Anglia Ruskin University, so it is never too late to change.”

Ingleton Wood offers degree apprenticeships for future architects, engineers and surveyors in association with London South Bank University and Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford.

Holly Sutherland, apprenticeship coordinator at Ingleton Wood, said: “National Apprenticeship Week is the perfect opportunity to highlight the fantastic success of our latest generation of apprentices who are benefitting in so many ways from degree apprenticeships.

“We are building bridges with schools, colleges and universities to invest in local skills and grow our workforce with homegrown talent. Apprenticeships give you diverse workforces and form a key part of our People First strategy. We are also committed to lifelong learning for all of our multi-generational teams.”

Ingleton Wood is one of the largest property and construction consultancies in the East of England, with offices in Colchester, Norwich, Cambridge, Billericay and London. Its services include architecture, building surveying, building services engineering, planning, interior design, civil and structural engineering, quantity surveying, project management and health and safety.