National Apprenticeship Week: Becca’s story

Rebecca Houghton, or Becca as we have come to know her, joined our Apprenticeship Scheme in 2019 after completing her A levels.
February 10, 2022
Becca knew that University wasn’t the route for her, but she still wanted a career in property and a professional qualification to go with it.

As we celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, we spoke to Becca about why this was the best option for her, and what it’s like to be an apprentice here at Vail Williams.

What appealed to you about the apprenticeship route?

“I started my apprenticeship with Vail Williams in 2019 after finishing my A levels and knowing the traditional university route wasn’t for me.

“I felt the world of work is where I belonged and after being offered my apprentice role with Vail Williams, I was able to kick start my career whilst still being able to undertake the qualifications I needed to progress in a way that suited me.

“Working one day a week towards my degree has allowed me to gain the academic knowledge that is vital to my role and apply it to the workplace first-hand – whether it be identifying building materials in an industrial shed or utilising key property law.

“Being able to shadow my experienced colleagues, albeit virtually for a period of time, has given me vital insight into how to be a professional, and to how handle clients effectively.

“I have also been able to identify areas where my skill set can help to innovate within Vail Williams, which is very motivating and rewarding for me.”

Becca Houghton, Apprentice at Vail Williams
What are your ambitions after you have completed your apprenticeship?

“In the next five years I’ll complete my academic career and, as I develop my skills and expertise, I look forward to enjoying the independence and responsibility that comes with being a RICS Chartered Surveyor.

“One day, I hope to move towards becoming an apprenticeship manager myself, so that I too can help the next generation of aspiring surveyors to find their way into the property and construction world.

Training & Projects Manager, Tanya Horscroft, added:

“Apprenticeships are not only invaluable to those who do them, it provides an important benefit for us as a company too.

“Our apprentices get to learn important work and life skills whilst on the job, gaining practical experience, getting out and about on site, and learning from the people around them.

“It’s an exciting path which prepares individuals like Becca for a successful career, exposing them to several areas of expertise and to experienced individuals with in-depth market knowledge.

Matthew Samuel-Camps, Managing Partner, concluded:

“Our apprentices also get the opportunity to be involved in a variety of interesting real-time projects and can build their professional network whilst getting an industry-recognised qualification.

“What’s important for us is the new insight and enthusiasm that an apprentice can bring to the team – be that from an ‘entry-level’ apprentice or those already established in their career who are expanding their qualifications even further.

Government funding for apprenticeships is set to increase by £170 million to £2.7 billion in 2024-25, as the popularity of this career route increases.

Secretary of State for Education, Nadhim Zahawi, said:

“National Apprenticeship Week is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate and recognise the achievements of apprentices, their employers and training providers. Apprenticeships offer people of all ages the chance to earn while they learn and build a successful career, while also delivering the skilled workforce this country needs to build back stronger.”

To find out about which government training and employment schemes could be right for you, use the links below:

If you are interested in joining Vail Williams as an apprentice, get in touch to find out more at