Apprenticeships combine earning and learning while offering an alternative pathway into property – but what’s the balance between work and study really like?

Apprenticeships are an alternative onward path for school leavers who don’t want to take a ‘traditional’ route such as university. They are also an option for people returning to work or changing professions to build their career in property. And for many, being able to ‘earn while you learn’ is particularly attractive.

The apprenticeship programme typically lasts five years, during which time apprentices work four days a week and study one day a week. This can seem daunting, but the support, mentorship and hands-on development opportunities offered to apprentices can really enrich the learning experience.

Here, Melissa Love, Apprentice Surveyor, shares her view on the balance of work and study:

Melissa Love, Apprentice at LocatED“I am passionate about apprenticeships and believe that they are such a good way for people to gain access to opportunities they may not otherwise have. I currently work four days full time with a day release on one day, where I complete my university studies and any necessary Continued Professional Development.

“It can be a challenge to maintain a good balance of work and study and you do need to be committed to achieve the most out of the programme. However, through forward planning and organisation, it is achievable. For example, there are times when I need to complete two assignments which are due within a day of each other, or complete work assignments due on the same day. I manage situations like this by trying to get a head start with assignments, particularly during quieter periods. Completing a bit of an assignment each week allows for a much better essay than when it is left to the last minute!

“There are groups that I am part of through my university which allow me to connect with my course mates. We can talk about any similar concerns we might all have, and bounce ideas off each other. I also have a study buddy whom I am in regular contact with. We schedule Zoom calls to prepare for our assignments, which is so helpful as studying online can make you feel a bit isolated sometimes.

“Talking to my colleagues when I have a challenging assignment and getting their ideas on how to approach it is also a good starting point. Their expertise is invaluable, and their experience challenges the textbook learning point.

“It’s important to take breaks from work and study so that it does not become overwhelming, and I achieve this by planning fun things to do in my free time. Having good things to look forward to pushes me to meet my targets and boosts my morale. A good work and study balance is important to gain the most out of my apprenticeship – and I’m sure the hard work now will pay off in the future!”

Apprenticeships at LocatED

We have partnered with the University College of Estates Management (UCEM) to develop an Apprenticeship Surveyor Programme. This combines hands-on experience, structured learning, and development opportunities to support apprentices in completing the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC). Apprentices that pass the APC will gain membership to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and become Chartered Surveyors. We also facilitate external apprenticeships across IT, finance and HR.

Want to know more? In this article from National Apprenticeship Week 2022, our apprentices spoke about why they chose this pathway into property and tips for anyone thinking of undertaking an apprenticeship.