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Five ways degree apprenticeships impact business: Burmor Construction case study


Faculty: Science and Engineering
School: Engineering and the Built Environment
Category: Degree apprenticeships

1 February 2024

Chartered Surveying degree apprentice Ciara outside in hi viz, smiling behind a piece of surveying equipment

ARU employer partners Burmor Construction discuss how taking on Chartered Surveyor degree apprentice Ciara has had benefits for both employer and apprentice - some of which came as a surprise.

Impact 1: the apprentice

When Ciara initially joined the team, she had limited experience, particularly in the design and build aspect of a project, but as time passed, the degree apprenticeship provided Ciara with invaluable opportunities for growth.

Ciara’s confidence has transformed: she now competently navigates contractual and technical challenges. She has developed her knowledge of construction practices and methods, and this is illustrated by her familiarity with complex structures used within construction.

Ciara is now able to assertively handle contractual matters and technical discussions. She explains that previously, she may have hesitated in defending her decisions when challenged; now, she demonstrates assertive authority, showing an increase in self-confidence.

Outside of work, Ciara boasts the title of Tomorrow's Leaders Representative for the Chartered Institute of Building in the Cambridge region. This provides her with “a path for personal growth, skills development, and industry connection. It compliments her academic achievements whilst providing her with holistic growth opportunity.”

Impact 2: management style

Burmor's management team have been instrumental in developing their management skills, as taking on a degree apprentice requires the ability to supervise, mentor, and guide the apprentice throughout their learning journey.

Their role is not only to develop the apprentice's technical competencies but to provide an “environment of encouragement, where the apprentice is empowered to explore, learn, and grow under supportive guidance” and “instil in them a sense of purpose and direction within the construction industry.”

Burmor believe that embracing the responsibility of mentoring an apprentice improves the mentor's own personal and professional growth. It therefore enriches both the mentor and the apprentice. It’s a win-win situation.

Burmor explain: “Throughout the mentorship journey, the mentor is presented with an opportunity to gain fresh perspectives and insights from the apprentice, opening the floor to an exchange of ideas and experiences that supports their own learning and professional development.”

Impact 3: succession planning within the business

Burmor firmly believe that by investing in career development from the beginning, it not only enhances employee commitment, but also their professional credentials.

They state: “By empowering an individual and supporting them to reach their full potential, we can give them the mentorship and encouragement to pave a successful career pathway within the company.”

‘Within the company’ is key, as they further explain: “In an ageing but fast-paced industry, an influx of new talent is vital to its progression. [A degree apprentice's] creativity is needed to inject new energy and ideas. Embracing this need for the next wave of talent fosters a positive environment where investment in our staff is key.”

What they have noticed is that apprenticeships bridge the gap between theory and practical learning, fostering a deeper understanding of the working world. The hands-on training and real-world experience gained by apprentices at Burmor directly contribute to their success.

Impact 4: the local community

One of Burmor Construction’s values is ‘building with integrity' – a sentiment that not only runs through this family-run business but also out to the local community. For Burmor, investing in apprentices means investing in local talent.

They explain: “We remain committed to local sustainability and know the positive impact that local employment has on our economy so by investing in local employees, we can actively contribute not only to Burmor and the construction industries future vision but nurture a local pool of skilled professionals who will drive that vision and contribute to the longevity of the business.”

Impact 5: partnerships that work

Burmor firmly believe that for apprenticeships to positively impact both the apprentice and the employer, the partnership with the apprenticeship provider is key.

About the partnership with ARU, they state: “ARU are fantastic to work with. Their supportive, engaged, and interactive approach sets the standard for effective collaboration, and they actively seek to promote a culture of inclusivity that ensures all voices are heard and valued.”

They further explain: “They are invested in their students' achievements, and support employers through engagement meetings where an exchange of ideas and expertise help toward an effective ongoing relationship and a shared goal of success for apprentices.”

Talk to us about how degree apprenticeships can impact your business

If you would like to talk to our dedicated apprenticeship consultants about the Construction Quantity Survey degree apprenticeship pathways or any other of our wide range of degree level apprenticeships:

To follow our National Apprenticeship Week 2024 (5-11 February 2024) activities, visit aru.ac.uk/NAW or follow Degrees at Work on Facebook, Degrees at Work on LinkedIn or Degrees at Work on X.


The views expressed here are those of the individual and do not necessarily represent the views of Anglia Ruskin University. If you've got any concerns please contact us.