Christina Hirst, Chief Executive of the Chartered Surveyors Training Trust, comments on Boris Johnson's campaign to fight youth job crisis
"We enthusiastically welcome Boris Johnson's campaign on this particular topic as apprenticeships are key to our trainee programme at the Chartered Surveyors Training Trust (CSTT), an independent charity that supports young people from 16 to 24 years of age to pursue a career in the property surveying industry. The scheme allows potential trainees that face a financial, social or academic barrier to study debt-free and receive educational support whilst training with leading firms in the industry.
The CSTT currently receives approximately 40 applications per apprenticeship place and we could support many more with the help of SMEs and larger firms in the industry.
Some surveying firms are looking at apprenticeships as another option for recruitment of young people. Nevertheless, while many have embraced the apprenticeship scheme through the CSTT, not enough have stepped up to the mark as yet and seized the benefits of recruiting bright young people who might otherwise miss the chance of starting and developing their career in the property industry.
We are all fully aware that the market is challenging these days and that is exactly why it is paramount for companies not to cut back on welcoming apprentices. The convenience for the company in tandem with the trainees' personal benefit is priceless.
It is important to stress that apprentices can earn fees for the company but are paid a fraction of the cost compared to graduates. And due to their young age, the employer has the advantage of moulding the trainee according to the company's needs. Most importantly, individuals who are finally being given a chance to demonstrate their worth tend to show a growing sense of loyalty towards the employer. In this particular case, they are also already committed to the industry and know that this is the career they wish to pursue. Invaluable, if you think how deeply high staff turnover rates can affect a business.
As a practical example of how apprenticeships can work, our current Chairman, Richard Carter left school at 16 years old and got on board with the CSTT. With help from the Trust he has worked his way through the apprenticeships scheme, progressing to pass his degree and APC while gaining valuable work experience. He is now a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (FRICS), a member of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors and a partner at Martin Arnold Associates LLP. A great achievement he may not otherwise have had the chance to realise.
Richard is now helping us to help others progress through apprenticeship schemes, but this can't be done without support from employers. We hope Boris's financial incentive will encourage others to follow suit and recognise the mutual benefit of apprenticeship schemes."