Apprentice Insights: On Track to Realise a Burning Ambition

9 February 2024

Jack Murray began studying his Level 6 Chartered Surveyor degree apprenticeship scheme with Faithorn Farrell Timms in 2018. He completed his BSc (Hons) Degree in 2022, and is currently undertaking his Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) to become a Chartered Building Surveyor, which has always been his ultimate goal.

What led you to apply for the FFT apprenticeship scheme?

I already worked for FFT within a CAD Technician role. I wanted to continue my career development within the Practice, my line manager at the time, Senior Partner Jeff Timms, highlighted the opportunity to complete the apprenticeship scheme in which FFT would support me through a degree and ultimately my RICS chartered status.

What support did you receive during your apprenticeship?

The support provided to me by FFT throughout the apprenticeship has been overwhelming. Everyone has done everything possible to help me succeed, whether that was reading one of my assignments, or supporting me around the workplace and in the field.

What were the most rewarding aspects of the apprenticeship in a personal sense?

To date, it has definitely been completing my degree. From not getting into university straight from school, to spending five years undertaking bar and chef work, I did not think I would ever complete a degree. But with the support of FFT, they made it possible for me to achieve my ambition.

Can you share a specific project or task during your apprenticeship that had a significant impact on your development as a surveyor?

During my time working within Partner Mehmet Bekir’s team, I undertook a large project management and contract administration role for housing association Metropolitan Thames Valley. The role involved assisting the client’s planned maintenance team in delivering programmes of work and improving the condition of their housing stock.

As one of my first introductions to building surveying, the project was very in depth and consequently assisted in my development in many areas, from client care to contract administration, project management and time management.

How did the apprenticeship scheme contribute to your professional growth and skill development compared to traditional classroom education?

I consider myself a visual learner, so at times struggled with traditional classroom education. The apprenticeship allowed for a large amount of learning whilst undertaking practical tasks, with support from a range of experienced professionals at FFT who I shadowed in the field.

This on the job learning was then supplemented with a small amount of classroom learning and self-led learning tasks to complete assignments set by the University College of Estates Management.

Learning whilst undertaking actually the role afforded me a deeper knowledge of the role than what I’d ever learn through a text book. This has now allowed me to undertake many projects of varying types and sizes, with great success.

Were there any challenges or obstacles you faced during your apprenticeship, and how did you overcome them?

One of my biggest challenges at the start was time management. I was allocated 20% of my working week (1 day) for what the university classed as off the job training, made up of shadowing, personal study or assignment writing.

I didn’t find this provided sufficient time to complete all the required aspects of the study and, where I had been out of education for a while, it required a re-allocation of personal time to complete this study.

Reflecting on your experience, what advice would you give to current apprentices to maximise the benefits of the scheme?

Upon reflection of my experience, I would give current apprentices the advice make the most of any spare time you have, whether it’s allocated to APC preparation or further outside reading.

This all assists in developing your knowledge, which in turn will improve your ability to perform your role to the best of your ability.

We wish Jack every success has he works towards completing his APC and realises his ambition of becoming a RICS Chartered Building Surveyor later this year.