Three cheers for apprenticeships!

Year 13 students around the country got their A-level results this morning and many will be off to university in the autumn. There are plenty of degrees on offer in property-related subjects and certain universities such as Reading and Nottingham Trent have a strong reputation for delivering a wide variety of courses.

But as Dave Sheridan, Executive Chairman of ilke Homes rightly pointed out today, not everyone who leaves school wants to go to university and not all 16-year olds fancy two more years in sixth-form. So why don’t we hear more about the alternatives for school leavers?  With continuing uncertainty over Brexit and a worsening skills gap in the property industry, it’s never been more important to make sure the nation has a workforce fit for the future.

A great option is to do an apprenticeship. But as Dave says, for too long they have been regarded as a second-best option. He thinks everyone in the sector should be promoting the fact that apprenticeships, training and upskilling programmes are provided by lots of employers and they are not just for school leavers. We agree. At Ringley, training is a big part of what we do and we have built our own apprenticeships in IT/social media, business administration and customer service finance and property management.

We are an Investors in People company and we’re delighted to maintain this accolade for the great care and attention with which we look after our staff, helping them develop, improve and gain greater job satisfaction. In 2012 Ringley achieved the silver standard – which is rare for small companies.

As part of our commitment to training, we have fully embraced the apprenticeship route for new staff. Our MD Mary-Anne Bowring is proud that Ringley is an organisation that fundamentally believes in investing in its people and supporting their career progression. We prefer to help our own staff to attain professional qualifications rather than assume a university degree automatically delivers candidates with a true understanding of property and law in practice. Mary-Anne firmly believes there is no substitute for on the job training; as skills and experience mature then we believe true connections are made between academic learning and practical application. This is why we offer our staff training contracts to support Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) Institute of Legal Executives (ILEX) and RICS qualification routes.

So if you or someone in your family is interested in a career in property, don’t forget there are plenty of ways to get those all- important property qualifications. As many of our staff have discovered, getting a degree isn’t the only way into the property business.