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Apprenticeships in architecture

With the potential to attract those who have never previously considered a career in architecture or attending university, as well as enabling practices to develop existing staff in different roles, apprenticeships represent a significant step on the path towards a more socially inclusive architectural profession.

The Institute for Apprenticeships has now approved two apprenticeship standards for delivery, following their development by a Trailblazer Group of 20 architectural practices, chaired by Foster and Partners. The two standards are:

Apprenticeships combine practical experience in the workplace with academic training provided by a university. The academic training can be delivered by any UK university offering a prescribed course. A minimum of 20% of the apprentice's contracted hours must be spent undertaking this formal, 'off-the-job' training.

The apprenticeships have been set up to improve the link between practice and academia, while also contributing to improving diversity in the profession. The approval of the scheme demonstrates how the industry can work together to make a positive contribution in the development of the profession.

A number of universities are now developing their offer and linking up with practices with the expectation of being ready to deliver these courses in September. Further information will be published in due course.

Trailblazer group

The RIBA is continuing to support the work of the Architecture Apprenticeships Trailblazer Group, which is developing the standards for the Architectural Assistant and Architect apprenticeships, as well as looking at the models of academic provision and the assessment methods for each standard. 

All practices interested in offering apprenticeships will be able to participate, with funding for training costs already available from the government’s apprenticeship levy which began in April on all large UK employers with an annual payroll of more than £3m.

Large and small practices alike can take on apprentices for existing non-architectural roles such as engineering or business admin and pay only 10% of training costs, as a new'co-investment' funding system will see the government picking up the remaining 90% of training costs subject to certain criteria. Employers will remain solely responsible for salaries.

  • Chair: Foster + Partners
  • Hawkins/Brown (Architect standard sub-lead)
  • Lipscomb Jones Architects Ltd (Architectural Assistant standard sub-lead)
  • Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (Architectural Assistant standard assessment sub-lead)
  • Scott Brownrigg (Architect standard assessment sub-lead)
  • Seven Architecture (Architectural Assistant standard assessment sub-lead)
  • Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM)
  • ARUP
  • Building Design Partnership (BDP)
  • Grimshaw Architects
  • HLM Architects
  • HOK International Ltd
  • HTA Design LLP
  • Perkins + Will
  • PLP Architecture
  • Pollard Thomas Edwards
  • Purcell
  • Ryder
  • Stanton Williams
  • TP Bennett LLP

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