National Apprenticeship Week: Building skills for life

February 6, 2023
This year sees the 16th annual celebration of apprenticeships as part of National Apprenticeship Week (NAW).

Throughout the week, businesses and apprentices across the country shine a light on the positive impact that apprenticeships make to individuals, businesses and the wider economy.

The theme for this year’s National Apprenticeship Week is ‘Skills for Life’, and we will be reflecting on how apprenticeships can help people to develop the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career in property.

Our apprenticeship scheme is of the upmost importance to our business, helping us to build a wider, more diverse talent pool, whilst addressing current skills gaps.

However, it is worrying to see that the number of people making the most of this career route is declining.

Recent statistics reveal that the number of apprenticeship starts has fallen by 6% in the first quarter of 2022/23.

The figures from the Department for Education also show a 3% decrease on scheme starts compared with the same period in 2019 prior to the pandemic.

Such a reduction in take-up could have a damaging effect on funding for the national apprenticeship scheme, indeed, we have already seen Government scrap the traineeship programme after nearly 10 years.

But if we are to see high-quality skills provision, we need to invest in this valuable career route, to help people build skills for life – particularly in the property sector where demand for surveyors continues to outstrip supply.




Matthew Samuel-Camps, Managing Partner, commented:

“Surveyors and Planners have a key role to play in developing new high-tech, sustainable towns and cities, and tackling core issues such as climate change and urbanisation. A career in this field can help to transform both our built environment and the landscapes that surround us for the better. Apprenticeship schemes offer a vital door into this exciting world .

Learning and Development Manager, Tanya Horscroft, added:

“At Vail Williams we offer people the opportunity to be involved in a variety of interesting real-time projects as part of their apprenticeship. Throughout their time with us, they can build their professional network and gain an industry-recognised qualification.”

This has been the experience of Becca Houghton, who joined the Vail Williams as an apprentice in 2019.

She said “After finishing my A levels, I knew the traditional university route wasn’t for me. The apprentice role at Vail Williams has given me the opportunity to kick-start my career, whilst still being able to undertake the qualifications I need to progress and grow in a way that suits me.”

Of course, whilst the new insight and enthusiasm that an apprentice can bring to the team is invaluable to us as a business, what is most rewarding, is seeing how our apprentices truly do build skills for life, allowing them to grow their careers with or, as well as beyond our doors.

Tanya concluded:

“Apprenticeships represent an exciting path, preparing individuals like Becca for a successful career, building skills for life by exposing them to several areas of expertise, whilst learning from experienced individuals with in-depth market knowledge.”

Find out more about what life as a Vail Williams apprentice is like by listening to what Becca has to say about her experience so far.