Apprenticeship Spotlight: En Route to a Career in Building Surveying

5 February 2021

Jack has been on a Level 6 Chartered Surveyor degree apprenticeship scheme with Faithorn Farrell Timms since 2018. As National Apprenticeship Week 2020 gets underway, we quiz Jack on his motivation for joining the building surveying profession, delve into what’s involved in the course and find out where Jack sees his future heading once he’s fully qualified.

What attracted you into the world of building surveying?

At school, my dream was to become an Architect. Unfortunately I didn’t get the A Level grades for my chosen universities, so I put the dream aside before rekindling it a few years later and enrolling on a 3D design advanced diploma course. Once qualified, I landed a role as a CAD technician with FFT. It was this position that introduced me to the world of building surveying, something that really started to appeal to me as a career due to the daily diversity and the ongoing opportunities to learn something new. It’s such an incredibly expansive profession covering so many different elements.

Why did you choose the apprenticeship route?

The encouragement of my employer was the biggest push for me towards starting an apprenticeship. FFT really did help me believe that I was capable of being successful in the building surveying profession, plus I had total confidence in the support I would receive from a training and professional development perspective, knowing that FFT is Investors in People Gold accredited.

The great thing about apprenticeships is you get to learn on the job, so I can achieve the qualifications I need whilst working and earning at the same time.

What course are you studying?

I’m on the Chartered Surveyor degree apprenticeship, studying at the University College of Estates Management (UCEM). It’s a 5-year Level 6 apprenticeship that leads to a BSc (Hons) Degree and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Assessment of Professional Competence (APC). My ultimate goal is professional membership of the RICS (MRICS) to become a Chartered Building Surveyor. The first four years of the course are part time study, and then the final year is experienced-based. Once I’ve completed the degree element in 2022, I will sit my APC the following year.

What is the best thing about studying via an apprenticeship?

The practical experience is priceless. When you learn something in theory, and then you actually experience it first hand on the job, it makes it all click. For example, I have undertaken a legal studies module within the course, and am currently focusing on property law.

In supporting Senior Partner Robin Faithorn on an expert witness appointment, everything I have learnt has fallen into place. Similarly, providing project management and contract administration services within Partner Mehmet Bekir’s team on a affordable housing refurbishment project has been most enlightening in terms of the more in-depth aspects in design leasehold management and consultation.

What is the best thing about studying an apprenticeship supported by FFT?

One thing that I really enjoy about working at FFT is the welcoming atmosphere and the way the Partners look after the staff so well. I look up to all the Partners, they are true experts in their fields and nothing is ever too much trouble when you need help and support, regardless of how big or small your problem might be.

The investment in time offered to me by the Partners has made a considerable difference. They have put a great deal of effort and planning into making sure my training is a good fit for my studies and future career progression, constantly evaluating to ensure everything is on track.

What are your plans for the future?

Once I’ve completed my apprenticeship and passed the RICS APC, I will hold the title of Chartered Building Surveyor. From this point I will look to build on my knowledge and hopefully work up through the ranks at FFT. My personal goal is to become an Associate within the Practice.