Top Class

Walters Architects, Leicester welcomed back a familiar face a couple of weeks ago. Will Lumby has been with the company (on and off) for the last couple of years. He first came to us as a work experience and after showing real enthusiasm for all things relating to design and small practice, we employed him over a Christmas break, Easter holiday and the whole of the following summer before he returned to University full time to finish his BA Hons in Architecture.

Whilst in the last year of his degree, Will kept in touch with the practice and was making all the right moves in order to secure his first year’s professional experience with Walters Architects. As his enthusiasm for Architectural education continued he started to explore the possibility of serving an Apprenticeship and asked if we would consider supporting him on this route to qualification. Personally, I was delighted with the approach because I started on my professional journey via an apprenticeship, albeit less conventional than Will’s.

large drawing of a building plan
Some of Wills work featured in this month’s Architectural Journal

The fundamental approach of the Apprenticeship is to split time between practice and university studies with the aim of obtaining the professional qualification rather than keeping the two different disciplines separate. This is a vocational qualification after all, so to me, it makes perfect sense to learn whilst on the job.

Traditionally Architectural Education takes 7 years. This consists of 3 years for the first degree (Part I), a year in practice (the first element of the third part), followed by a 2 year Post Graduate Diploma or a Masters (know as Part II) and then a final year (second element of Part III) in practice with a professional interview and exam at the end to gain entrance to the Architects Register (ARB).

The modern Apprentaship allows students who achieve a minimum of a 2.1 Honours Degree to continue their studies, after their Part I, in practice alongside their academic studies on a block release basis.

Will was successful and secured his Apprenticeship place at Nottingham University (he completed his degree at Nottingham Trent University) before he came back to us. His place was offered before knowing if he’d achieved the minimum requirement but Will, being the ever conscientious student, was eager to get his results and justify his place. Last week we were all delighted to hear he’d achieved a first.

Nottingham University Building
The Apprenticeship scheme is being administered at Nottingham University

So the last few weeks have been good to Will. He has secured an Apprenticeship place with both practice and university, he gets a First Class Honors in Architecture and he is on route to becoming both a registered and Chartered Architect.

Well, things got a little better. Last week he found out his work was being showcased in the Architects Journal as part of the AJ Student Prize and he should get the results at the end of Autumn. He knows it’s a long shot to win anything but being nominated and featured in the Architects Journal is prize enough. Then this week he found out he’d won a student prize at the Nottingham Trent for best Student Communication.

Student Prize 2021
Will is featured in this month’s Architects Journal. Page 62.

His academic achievements are impressive and we are so pleased for him as well as being humbled that he wants to spend at least the next 4 years within our practice, we hope it’s longer. But the real achievement goes much beyond this recent success. I won’t go into any detail as it slightly detracts from all his hard work but I will say; he hasn’t had it easy, he’s made some very tough and mature decisions and he has worked so extremely hard that no one could deny his dedication or talent.

This young man has done exceptionally well and it’s all of his own doing. Well done Will and welcome back.

Check out Wills and the rest of his years work at: