Thinking back, I initially became interested in apprenticeships when I was working at a small surveying firm back in Cumbria. I thought about what I could do to progress and was introduced to the idea of doing an apprenticeship degree. 

After carrying out research and looking into various possibilities, I came across Hollis. I applied, and fast forward to today; I’ve now been here for six years and I’m a Chartered Building Surveyor. 

Before my apprenticeship, my idea of surveying was largely based around surveying houses prior to prospective homeowners buying them. But since starting at Hollis, I’ve learned that there’s much more to it. There’s relationship building, commercial, technical, and managerial aspects to it, with a large focus on sustainability, which is why having apprenticeships as an available pathway into an industry and career really is an amazing opportunity. 

As for me, I don’t think you can really teach surveying without having that practical, hands-on experience, and the opportunity is there to become a better-rounded surveyor. We might start to see that in the next five years or so there’s going to be more demand and far more need for apprentices. 

When the apprentice becomes qualified  

I’ve now come full circle in my career, and I’m grateful to have an apprentice working with me whom I support. I find this to be a rewarding and humbling position, to give someone the tools and insight needed to progress further in their tasks and activities. I also find it helpful that we’re close in age, as it introduces that element of understanding and familiarity. 

Having already gone through the apprentice experience, I really want to ensure I’m passing on all that I know, so they can prioritise what they need now and focus their time and efforts on those areas that will be of use in the future. All while giving them the same opportunity as everyone else to be fully developed as a surveyor in all aspects.  

Looking ahead  

It’s safe to say that starting my apprenticeship at Hollis has presented me with a lot of knowledge, experience, and opportunities to improve myself and my career. One such opportunity is the pleasure of being nominated and shortlisted in the University College of Estate Management’s (UCEM) Apprenticeship Awards 2024 for the Employer Representative category. 

I’m looking forward to seeing the results that come from that, and I look forward to seeing future apprenticeship programmes enhance diversity and inclusion in this sector. We’re currently working to achieve this at Hollis through education, visiting a variety of schools, and talking to young people from all different backgrounds. 

As an advocate for apprenticeship schemes, I can say I’ve got a lot out of this experience with Hollis for the past six years and would encourage anyone to look into their available options.