Troy Abraham is adamant that an apprenticeship is the best route to achieve your career ambitions.
Having left Exeter College at the age of 17, Troy took up an apprenticeship with LiveWest, in partnership with the University of Estate Management, and specialised in building surveying.
Two years later Troy is on the verge of securing his Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) membership having successfully completed his apprenticeship.
Troy said: “I have enjoyed every minute of it. It has been a great learning curve and I feel like I have gained so much knowledge.
“Working at LiveWest has been a fantastic experience for me and everyone has made me feel so welcome.
“It is never easy when you are a young person going into an organisation, but I was made to feel comfortable and at ease from the very first day and the support I have had has been great.
“I came in not knowing anything about building surveying and now I have a much better understanding of how property works and structural issues.
“My apprenticeship involved a lot of inspection work, meeting contractors on site, getting remedial works sorted and helping to run contracts and tenders.
“I even had the experience of being able to instruct a structural engineer to create a design for us which would stop ground slipping.
“Resolving issues from start to finish gave me enormous satisfaction and the work was so varied. There were new learnings every step of the way.
“I am now focused on getting my RICS and saying goodbye to LiveWest which will be the hard bit.”
LiveWest offers a range of apprenticeships and currently has 39 apprentices in programmes, ranging from Level 2 in Plumbing to Level 7 Masters in Business Administration, with a variety of levels and specialisms in between.
Troy added: “What I would say for anyone considering an apprenticeship is to go for it. A lot of people are hesitant because of the low wage and learning at trade but it is a good way to learn on the job and still get paid.
“You can’t replace practical experience and I am coming out of my apprenticeship feeling like I now have a good understanding of how building surveying works.”
Juggling four days a week practical experience with one day a week theory has given Troy the perfect springboard to progress in his career.
He faced a tough decision towards the end of his apprenticeship after LiveWest offered him a full-time position.
But he was keen to broaden his horizons in a consultancy setting and will take up a post with quantity surveying and construction consultancy firm Taylor Lewis next month.
Troy added: “It was a hard decision as I would have been delighted to have stayed at LiveWest.
“But I wanted to break into consultancy and have more of a project management role.
“Without LiveWest this wouldn’t have been possible, so I thank them for believing and investing in me.
“It has been great to get a feel of the social housing sector and working at LiveWest has made me realise the importance of being customer-focused.
“What I found particularly useful about the apprenticeship I was on was that you would learn things in the classroom on your day at college and then have the chance to put it into practice.”
Rory Henderson, Head of Property Intelligence for LiveWest, helped to guide Troy through his apprenticeship.
Rory said: “It’s been great having Troy as an apprentice at LiveWest. He’s worked professionally and diligently through his time with us and it’s been a pleasure working alongside him. We wish him all the best in his new role.”