PMA looks to the future with architectural apprentices.

We recognise the importance young people in architecture and are keen to encourage those considering a career in the built environment. Lead RIBA Architect Perry Mears never hides his support for architectural apprenticeships. “The opportunity to work as an apprentice as an integral member of a professional team, exposed to a diverse variety of residential and commercial projects and experiencing the daily pressures and challenges of an architectural office cannot be replicated at university. The balance of four days in the office with one at college works well, with our experienced team on hand to support our apprentices in their professional and academic development. With two apprentices currently with us, another member of our team having initially joined us as an apprentice, is now a fully qualified Chartered Architectural Technologist.

Last week we welcomed Natasha (Tash) Howard for a week’s work experience, building further on a week she spent with us last year.  “It was great to see how Tash’s enthusiasm and passion for architecture and design has developed further over the past year.

Living near Chulmleigh, Tash is just finishing her final exams before leaving Great Torrington School and during the week she gave us a insight.

So what was your initial inspiration for a career in architecture?

As my dad is a builder, so we have always lived in the construction environment and we even built our own house.  I have a passion for art, design and creativity and love inspirational buildings, so architecture is a natural direction. I’m organised and methodical and love learning, so I relish the opportunity to continue my academic studies, whilst developing valuable experience as part of the day-to-day professional architectural  team.

How does last year and this year’s work experience with PMA been?

During last year’s I was introduced to software for digital design, an exciting insight. I enjoyed seeing the PMA architectural team working and chatting together. I soon saw their professional skills and expertise in so many areas; inspirational!

This year I’ve been able to really get stuck in, creating a presentation for a presentation for a team design session, working on CAD digital design work, scanning and even some traditional work on paper. I also made some site visits too. The learning curve is steep and my busy week has highlighted how much I have to learn, but this has only reinforced my decision to pursue a career in architecture.

So what’s next?

Focusing on my exams is important but when complete I am looking forward to leaving school to join the PMA team as an apprentice, so taking my first steps into the world of architecture. How exciting. As to where this will lead, who knows. An apprenticeship will give me a strong foundation and real, valuable experience, hopefully leading to university and on to secure architectural qualifications – then the world is my oyster.

What are you dreams and aspirations?

Cities and towns are so exiting and inspirational; the built environment is my passion. I’ll certainly move from the countryside to live and work amongst buildings and people, whilst taking any opportunities to travel to foreign cities.

So what do you do when not planning your future?

Art is something I love, something I do at any opportunity. Books too are a passion. Reading is lifechanging and a real life skill; something I enjoy and thrive on. I enjoy my studies and learning., so I looking forward to more. Trips to a West End show, art exhibition and galleries in London are always a highlight and I’m really keen to develop my French skills too; I like to be busy!

“We look forward to Tash Howard joining us later in the summer as an apprentice and soon becoming a permanent member of our architectural team” said Perry Mears

April 2024.