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:
- Architectural Assistant, including Part 1 qualification
- Architect, which includes Part 2 and Part 3 qualifications
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.