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Sally talks about her apprenticeship in Residential Surveying and Valuation

Category: apprenticeships, Career and Talent Development, LiveWest, career path, Apprenticeship Programme

We're supporting apprentice Sally to become a qualified property surveyor through her course

Sally Bennetts

Sally Bennetts, a LiveWest Sales Negotiator in our Asset Management team is currently undertaking an apprenticeship in Residential Surveying and Valuation with the University College of Estate Management. Her apprenticeship will allow her to carry out surveys and valuations on our properties to ensure we are providing quality homes.

Sally is currently finishing her first year of studying and will qualify as an AssocRICS once she returns from maternity leave next year.

Sally said: “I am training to qualify as an Associate RICS, which is part of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. The qualification is not directly related to my current Sales Negotiator role but adds another strength to my knowledge. It will also enable me to potentially apply for surveying jobs within LiveWest should they become available. It’s a great qualification to have within the housing sector.

‘’I chose the apprenticeship because I have previous experience in valuing properties, but I am also very interested in Building Surveying and Building Pathology. It’s also not necessarily a female orientated industry. This is an extra challenge I would like to overcome. My apprenticeship will be valuable to my role and for my team. When I visit properties highlighted for disposal, I will be able to assess their current state of repair alongside my surveying knowledge. I can then transfer the information into a final report to help us decide whether to keep or dispose of a property that is not fit for purpose. So much cross-team working goes into the evaluation of our properties and the profit we make from the sale of assets are reinvested into new affordable homes. My job is extremely rewarding.

‘’I started my apprenticeship in March 2020, at the start of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, so I have only had one face to face meeting in person with my peers and my tutor who are based in London. All learning is online through weekly activities and webinars. The workshop days in London have moved online which was a challenge in the beginning, but I have embraced it. My manager has been a huge support to me during this time and check on my progress frequently. She also meets regularly with my tutor, so she is fully involved in the process which is a welcome support. I have an assigned RICS qualified mentor who works in a different team within LiveWest. Giving me more exposure to other parts of the business and different knowledge pools that I otherwise wouldn’t have accessed. 

‘’I can study whilst working as I am given one day a week to concentrate on my studies. I end up working very hard but both LiveWest and myself are getting something great and beneficial out of it, so it is worth it. When I return from maternity leave, I hope that lockdown restrictions will have been lifted. I'd like to carry out the practical element of the apprenticeship and job shadow my RICS qualified colleagues. This would enable me to pass my second year and finally qualify in 2023.

‘’I feel extremely grateful to be able to take part in my apprenticeship and have a break in learning whilst I go on maternity leave. It really shows that LiveWest are prepared to invest in their colleagues whatever their life situation might be. It gives me a sense of security to know that I can pick back up again when I restart my career.”

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