From education to employment

National Apprenticeship Week project supported by senior government official

On Wednesday 5th February, Essex-based, Chartered Surveyors Munday & Cramer held an event at Moulsham High School to celebrate #NationalApprenticeshipWeek.

The interactive experience was a take on the BBC’s well-known show ‘The Apprentice’, designed to engage students and teachers in a task-based process and resulted in a prize awarded to the ‘hired’ candidate by Munday & Cramer’s director, Lee Hatwell.

Senior government official and CEO of the Education and Skills Funding Agency, Eileen Milner, was on the judging panel on the day and supported the event stating:

“I had an absolutely brilliant morning at Moulsham Academy in Chelmsford celebrating the achievements and opportunities of apprenticeships with year nine pupils and chartered surveying apprentices. Using drones, maths, French and inspirational support from the apprentices who were mentoring as part of ‘The Apprentice’ format, the enthusiasm of all involved was amazing!”

Munday & Cramer are well-known throughout Essex for the work they do within the community. They have employed a number of apprentices from local schools who are all at different stages of their careers. Lee Hatwell, Chartered Surveyor, has been working with schools, the government-funded Careers & Enterprise Company, and RICS to challenge preconceptions surrounding apprenticeships and continues to raise awareness of young peoples’ education and career options. The event this week endorses this year’s National Apprenticeships Week focus, which is to “look beyond” and to showcase the developing link between business and schools.

Munday & Cramer shortlisted 16 year nine pupils, all working towards choosing their GCSE subjects and career pathways, following a short CV writing exercise that crucially aimed to engage parents as well as pupils. Current apprentices employed at the company mentored the students in small groups through a series of tasks designed to replicate those undertaken within a Chartered Surveying degree apprenticeship.

The tasks included identifying a detail on a building at Moulsham High School using a drone, then using RICS own cost estimating service, BCIS, and KS3 maths to develop real-life quantities and presenting their rationale and cost advice to their ‘client’ at the education & skills funding agency. The event was a huge success, with all of the children engaged and excited about the tasks set out. Throughout the morning, the groups were whittled down to the three strongest candidates who were then interviewed by a panel of industry professionals.

Barry Cullen, Head of Future Talent, Diversity & Inclusion, who was on the panel said, “Apprenticeships have proved to be an incredibly successful and accessible route into surveying, with us seeing a greater diversity in our newly-qualified RICS professionals. Yesterday highlighted how encouraging it is to see more individuals accessing opportunities not just in large businesses but with SMEs. Munday & Cramer prove by building relationships with local schools they are establishing a direct route into the industry and seeing apprentices make a huge contribution to not just their business, but the wider economy and are addressing the skills gap in the built and natural environment.”

In reflection of the event’s success, Lee Hatwell said, “The students demonstrated a level of maturity and attention to detail that made selection extremely challenging, but after their apprentice mentors campaigned avidly with ‘the boss’ for their candidates. Munday & Cramer want to continue working alongside local schools and education bodies to raise awareness of apprenticeships”.

Munday & Cramer are a multi-disciplinary practice that covers services from conceptual architectural design, procurement and project management through to day-to-day facilities and property management. They have a genuine passion for improving Essex schools’ building’s compliance processes and working with them to keep their facilities managed consistently.

They are a prominent voice in the community for the work they do with young people and their career development through apprenticeships and alternative pathways into the industry. They’re always open to discussing under-funding or management of schools in Essex and the ways this can be improved.

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