This autumn, UWE Bristol enter their second year of offering the Level 7 Architect Apprenticeship and University of Bath launch the Level 7 Architect Apprenticeship where apprentices study for Part 2 and Part 3 qualifications toward becoming a fully qualified Architect, whilst still working at a practice.
Over the course of four years, apprentices receive training and specialist skills development needed to achieve their Part 2 and Part 3 qualifications. Apprentices won't have to pay tuition fees and earn a salary from the employer throughout the apprenticeship.
Employing an apprentice can increase productivity, develop the profession positively in the long term, improve staff retention and develop existing staff, and bring in new ideas and vision. Any architecture practice can offer an apprenticeship with funding for training and assessment costs up to the funding band maximum available from the apprenticeship levy or directly from the government, who will fund up to 95% of the smaller firms’ training costs.
At UWE Bristol, the Architecture Apprenticeship offers employers a new way to support employees’ professional development, by investing in their architecture training and retaining their talents and skills. Training is delivered on a day-release format, which means students can put their learning into practice almost from day one.
Further details on the UWE Bristol programme can be found on the UWE website with contact details for prospective employers and apprentices.
At Bath, apprentices need to apply and be accepted onto the MArch course with a practice/employer willing to support through your studies. Apprentices study the MArch units over three years rather than the traditional two years, and the structure is semester-based across practice-based and study-based periods.
Further details on the Bath programme can be found on Bath's website with contact details for prospective practices/employers and apprentices.
Lauren Gower, Level 7 Architectural Apprentice at Austin Design Works, Stroud said "It is a truly amazing opportunity to study as an apprentice at UWE Bristol. I am developing my own architectural style in the studio while practising and maintaining a professional rigour that is required to deliver on real projects.
"The most exciting aspect of the apprenticeship is being able to use the experience gained by working to inform my theoretical projects and vice versa. It is still early days but I feel the outcomes already have been better than I could ever have imagined. Design is close to the heart at ADW and I am inspired and encouraged by the team every step of the way."
Joshua Compton, Architectural Apprentice at Kendall Kingscott, Bristol said "Since returning to UWE to undertake the Level 7 apprenticeship I have been able to enjoy the benefits of working in practice on live projects whilst also enriching my own creative development though university contact time.
"So far, the programme has given me opportunities to consider and research alternative approaches to Architecture which has allowed me to become more critical and reflective of my own work, both in practice and design studio. This opportunity will ultimately allow myself to develop into a well-informed, aware and responsive designer."
Further information from the government about how apprenticeship funding works for employers who want to take on an apprentice can be found on the GOV.UK website.