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 RIBA is delighted to be at the forefront of this initiative.
Apprenticeships combine practical experience in the workplace with studying for recognised qualifications at the same time. A minimum of 20% of the apprentice's contracted hours must be spent in formal, 'off-the-job' training.
Employers are placed at the heart of designing new apprenticeship standards, known as the Trailblazer process. In 2016, a Trailblazer group of architecture practices was created to set up apprenticeships in architecture, supported by the RIBA.
The Architecture Trailblazer Group is chaired by Foster + Partners, involves several other practices and is working actively with universities and other stakeholders.
Two apprenticeship standards have been approved by the Department of Education for further development: Architectural Assistant (level 6) and Architect (level 7) – and it is hoped that 2018 will see the first architecture apprentices beginning their training