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National Apprenticeship Week

National Apprenticeship Week 2023 Faulknerbrowns Architects Lh

To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, we are sharing projects and advice from our own architectural apprentices.

Last year, Harrison Lowthrop became the first apprentice at FaulknerBrowns to qualify as an architect. We are now supporting 6 more apprentices who are gaining full time, practical experience in architecture while studying the Degree Apprenticeship at Northumbria University; Adam Nightingale, Ken Alford, Fraser Tattersdill, Nicoleta Coman, Mark McMullan and Laura McClorey.

National Apprenticeship Week 2023 Faulknerbrowns Architects Adam Nightingale L

Adam Nightingale

‘An apprenticeship gives you the opportunity to combine the specialist knowledge from your workplace with the freedom of academic work, which hopefully results in much richer and more grounded university projects, and research which will inform your practice.’

National Apprenticeship Week 2023 Faulknerbrowns Architects Ken Alford L

Ken Alford

‘I chose the apprenticeship route to gain work-based skills whilst studying, as I perceived continuous exposure to the professional industry would provide better development and allow me to be more aware, and ready for how the industry works once I am fully qualified. If you are considering an apprenticeship, my advice would be to think about how well you can manage multiple deadlines at the same time, and why this route is better for you personally.’

National Apprenticeship Week 2023 Faulknerbrowns Architects Fraser Tattersdill L

Fraser Tattersdill

'I felt I learnt so much in my part 1 year out, that it would be invaluable to continue that on-the-job learning. I would definitely recommend this route if you are certain this is the career you want to pursue. There will always be pressure from deadlines, whether that be full time or part time, so getting paid for your experience seems like a no brainer!'

National Apprenticeship Week 2023 Faulknerbrowns Architects Nicoleta Coman L

Nicoleta Coman

‘I chose the apprenticeship for the experience. The professional environment is able to offer better opportunities to develop your career from an earlier age. But it is also the financial security - the apprenticeship scheme allows me to be financially independent while continuing my studies.’

Adam, Ken, Fraser and Nicoleta are currently studying the masters (part II) component of the apprenticeship, while Mark and Laura completed their masters and thesis projects in 2022. Their projects both explored adaptive re-use in Belfast and were exhibited at Northumbria University's collective degree show.

National Apprenticeship Week 2023 Faulknerbrowns Architects Mark Mcmullan L

Mark McMullan, Belfast Arcadia

‘Belfast Arcadia is an adaptive reuse scheme located in the heart of the ‘Tribeca Belfast’ development. Plans to demolish the 1930s arcade and replace it with new office and commercial use have been met with negativity from the public, who want to see the structure retained and repaired. This public engagement formed the basis for the project, which aims to create a new community and cultural asset to re-establish this relic.’

National Apprenticeship Week 2023 Faulknerbrowns Architects Laura Mcclorey L

Laura McClorey, Belfast Stories

'Combining a programme of community and tourist functions, Belfast Stories is a celebration of the city and its people. The project reinvigorates a prominent site in the north of the city centre with a masterplan that reconnects Belfast’s historic Smithfield Market and Central Library. The adaptive re-use of a 1930s art deco bank not only revitalises a landmark asset but provides a civic gesture to the deserving city.'

Last year, Laura's advocacy for apprenticeships in architecture saw her win the G4C North East 'Technical Apprentice of the Year' award. Mark and Laura are now looking forward to qualifying as architects in 2023.

'For us, supporting degree apprenticeships is about retaining talent and offering opportunities to those who for many reasons would not be able to consider more traditional study options. This opens the profession up to a wider group of people with diverse backgrounds, which we think is an important step towards making architecture more inclusive.'

- Steve McIntyre, Partner