A leading property consultancy is broadening the diversity of its surveyors and planners after its new training scheme – specifically for undergraduates not taking traditional property courses – has unearthed new talent.
Fisher German’s ‘Insight’ programme is a one-week, virtual course which gives undergraduates with an interest in surveying or planning an overview of the basics to help them make further career decisions.
The programme has been especially successful in finding new utilities and infrastructure surveyors, a sector which is in high demand for candidates.
Marie-Ange Ehrhart, Early Careers Talent Advisor at Fisher German, said: “We found that many of the candidates for graduate vacancies we were interviewing took a more conventional route into surveying.
“While they do a fantastic job, it was clear we were missing out on those with great potential who may not have considered surveying as a career.
“We decided to launch the Insight programme as a way of broadening the net for talent and educating non-cognate students on careers within surveying and planning. It’s been advertised on university job sites such as Handshake, and we’ve seen strong interest for the initial courses we’ve held.
“We’ve also encouraged interviewees who we felt had great soft skills, but not necessarily the technical knowledge needed for surveying, to take part in the programme before potentially offering them a role.
“The course is already proving to be highly successful, with four candidates being employed full-time this year after completing it, and a further six with us on summer placement.”
Trainees attending the programme learn from qualified and graduate surveyors and planners within Fisher German, and are paired up with a ‘buddy’ who can help with any queries.
They are also given practical tasks to work on based on actual jobs Fisher German surveyors and planners do day-to-day, such as doing a rent review.
Once the programme is completed, trainees then have the skills needed to boost their chances of securing a placement or graduate role in surveying or planning.
One trainee who completed the programme and is now working as a graduate surveyor in Fisher German’s Banbury office is Lewis Agius, who saw the opportunity on Leeds University’s careers page after graduating in Geography.
He said: “After graduating I wasn’t really sure what sort of career I wanted, so I initially found myself working at Halfords as a sales advisor.
“I was looking for other jobs, and saw a vacancy for a surveying role with Fisher German. I thought it might be a great career to get into as you spend a lot of time outside and working on all sorts of different projects.
“At interview, Fisher German recognised I had potential but not the experience, so suggested I take the FG Insight programme.
“The course was incredibly useful and really opened my eyes to how interesting surveying could be as a career. After passing the course, I applied again to Fisher German and I got the job.
“I started in July as a graduate surveyor within Infrastructure Services and it’s been fantastic so far – it’s a cliché but no two days are the same. I’m facilitating land access on a range of projects and I’m often getting out on-site while works are going on, which is great.
“Everyone at Fisher German has been so welcoming and the job itself is very similar to what I learned during the Insight programme.
“Without the Insight programme I’m not sure whether I definitely would have got into surveying, so I’m really glad I took it. I’d recommend it to anyone considering surveying as a potential career.”