Last year, we announced our role in creating the UK’s first Architecture Apprenticeship Standard, in collaboration with a group of leading architectural practices, RIBA, ARB and UK universities.
Less than a year after the scheme launch, our architectural technician, Daniel Stokes discusses how the apprenticeship has impacted his career. “I am fortunate to be one of the first to become an apprentice at Southbank University, the first to offer the Level 6 course”
The scheme allows apprentices to learn the technical and design aspects of the course at college while enhancing wider softer skills within our practice. Daniel continues, “I have learned so much – I have a more in-depth understanding of the process of taking a brief and translating that into a concept, then a design proposal. This has included how to approach a contextual analysis of a proposed site, looking at environmental, historical and social criteria. I know the RIBA stages in detail and how you apply them. My journey has been an interesting one – I started with the practical and now I’m doing the academic qualification. In future, more individuals will be able to do both in tandem.”
The cost of becoming an architect is roughly £45,000-£48,000 if undertaken full time, a barrier to entry into the profession for many. The apprenticeship scheme Daniel has undertaken makes it economically viable, as it’s part-funded through the apprenticeship levy. There has been criticism levelled at the architecture profession that it is elitist and the route to qualification is prohibitive to many both in terms of cost and opportunity. This has affected the diversity that exists within architecture and this can have an impact on the quality and richness of the places we create.
With this apprenticeship scheme, we have the opportunity to attract those who have never previously considered a career in architecture, as well as enabling practices to develop existing staff in different roles. Longer term, our apprentices could be leaders in the field, and enhance the diversity in our profession, too.