National Apprenticeship Week: Leics architect shares top tips for securing placement

National Apprenticeship Week: 5 Top Tips for securing an architectural placement

AMBITION, a ‘can-do attitude’ and a good eye for design are some of the skills required when it comes to securing a position at a practice offering a place on their architectural apprenticeship or graduate training scheme, according to a director at a leading AJ100 architectural practice.

This year, independent property, construction and infrastructure consultancy Pick Everard partnered with Leicester’s De Montfort University (DMU) as it launched its new four-year part-time level 7 and 8 apprenticeship course for RIBA Part II and Part III professional qualifications.

And, as part of National Apprenticeship Week, which runs from 4-8 March, Steve Cummings – director of architecture at Pick Everard – has shared his top tips for anyone who is considering applying for an apprenticeship or graduate placement.

1. Design

“Show us what you’re about and how your design skills will contribute to the quality of work our practice produces. This will help you stand-out from others, so make your student projects count.”

2. Attitude

“We want to develop graduates who are talented, ambitious and, most importantly, have a ‘can-do’ attitude. So, when it comes to your application, show us your personality and motivation.”

3. Network

“Push yourself to do things over and above what is expected. There are lots of exhibitions and events that you can attend, which will help you meet people and grow a professional network.”

4. Training

“It’s important that you find a practice that wants to invest and really support you. At Pick Everard, we strongly support our graduates through in-house training and experience on a range of large projects. Both of these help develop the skills needed to become a great architect.”

5. Eye

“Most graduates we meet have strong skills across a range of software – this is fundamental. What we look for is the quality of work that is created using those tools and whether a graduate has an eye for design.”

Steve, who currently manages a number of apprentices who are based across the firm’s offices, added:

“Here at Pick Everard, we recognise the importance of nurturing talent and inspiring the next generation of architects to help them kickstart their careers in the industry.

“That’s why we put a lot of hard work into our fantastic graduate scheme, which enables young aspiring architects to grow their design, technical and professional skills while working on large projects across multiple sectors.

“Not only do we fund 100% of the course fees, we also provide our apprentices with an experienced mentor and an in-house training programme tailored to the course structure and, due to the size of the practice, provide opportunity to work on great projects so they can learn on the job.

“We’re always on the look-out for the best students and we’re looking to build further strong relationships with top universities across the country. We want graduates with the right attitude – those who want to learn and those who are proactive, dynamic and ambitious – as well as people who have a good eye for design and a strong portfolio.”

Pick Everard employs more than 500 staff across its 13 UK offices, providing a range of project, cost and design consultancy services. For more information, please visit

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