Apprenticeships: Not Just For School Leavers

Our newest Apprentice Surveyor, Tom Muldowney, shares his experience of pivoting careers later in life through a property apprenticeship

A headshot of Tom and a quote pulled from the body copy of this article

“My interest in property started back in secondary school, where I based my entire art project on looking at old industrial buildings and structures. But I needed to start working immediately, which overshadowed any further venture down that path.  

“I went into hospitality and security, where I gained management experience and was also able to oversee new site developments at the bar company I worked for, which reignited my interest in property. However, due to the nature of my job, the unsociable hours, and finances, I was unable to move into further education at that time. 

“Then came the arrival of children! Again, this meant I wasn’t able to save and re-train, and I ended up working in education as it allowed me to enjoy the school holidays and dedicate more time to my kids. I spent nearly 12 years working in this role. I felt that because I lacked a degree it was unlikely that I would further my career in education, and I had already hit the ceiling in the role I was in, in terms of progression. At the same time, my grandmother sadly passed away, but with my inheritance I was able to purchase and redesign my home, which once again sparked my passion for the built environment and inspired me to find out more about routes to pivot my career.”

Apprenticeships aren’t just for school leavers 

“I was introduced to LocatED and the opportunities it provides in terms of pathways into property. I initially thought I’d be too old for the apprenticeship as I thought it was more of a role for uni graduates, but I soon found out that age didn’t factor into any of the decisions when taking on an apprenticeship.  This seemed like my new path…. a re-education where I could gain a degree at the end of it, be in a hands-on learning role and at the same time get paid! So, I applied, and with the amazing help and guidance from Julie, LocatED’s Chief People Officer, I was able to get myself onto a six-month BSc Access course in Estate Management, which on completion allows me to fully enrol in the Chartered Surveyor Apprenticeship program at UCEM while gaining all the on-the-job experience through LocatED.”   

A new career in an old passion 

“I am now a month into the Apprentice Surveyor role at LocatED where I have been placed in the Asset Management Team. Under the guidance of Robert, LocatED’s Associate Director – Asset Management, I already feel I have learned so much. The idea of going back to school for someone in their forties is obviously daunting. But I would say to anyone thinking about taking up an apprenticeship to just go for it. I am evidence that you don’t need to have gone to university, you don’t need to be young, and there are ways to bolster your existing qualifications to further, or indeed restart, a new career in an old passion.”

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) through the Commercial Real Estate pathway.  

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.