Gloucestershire's Apprenticeship Champions 2019

Be the architect of your own career

Roberts Limbrick Architects has an enviable reputation among its customers and peers. Its invisible signature is on such landmarks as Cheltenham Racecourse and Gloucester Docks’ Lock Warehouse, the city’s GL1 Leisure Centre, Cheltenham’s newest office building, the six-storey 64,000 square feet of grade A space that is Honebourne Place, and the stunning new Gloucestershire College building in Cinderford. But while the long list of admired and award-winning buildings speaks volumes about Roberts Limbrick, the Gloucestershire firm has not been very successful at letting the rest of us into this secret. That is all changing, however. And helped by the fact this is a special edition championing apprenticeships, a route to work the firm has been committed to for many years, Punchline got lucky and was invited to meet directors Joe Roberts and Aled Roberts to talk. The first thing they were keen to do was debunk the myth that only a seven-year university degree-led route unlocked the doors into the architectural profession. “The architectural profession is not perceived as one of the places you can enter through an apprenticeship,” said Joe, who trained with the city business and worked his way through the ranks to director level. “But apprentices are integral to the firm. We recruit apprentices every year and have a number who are still with us after 25 years.” Aled, a director based in the firm’s fast-growing second office in Newport - explained apprenticeships had benefits for all involved in the process.

Joe Roberts Aled Roberts

“Apprentices in all their different forms are the lifeblood of our practice. The sky is the limit for them when it comes to ongoing career development. “We have people at all levels of Roberts Limbrick that started with us as trainees. Some have been with us for 25 years and are now in senior roles. “It is a win-win situation for the apprentice, the industry and our practice,” said Aled. Its city offices are in the award-winning listed Bruton Way Carriage Works building the firm restored and moved into, after the merger of Roberts Gardner Ltd and Limbrick Limited in 2008. It has a near-full diary of interns, work experience placements and advertising its apprenticeship opportunities, but is always keen to talk to new faces. Despite this, it is aware it needs to work harder to secure the very best of the next generation, and part of that is getting the message across that the county practice can offer the very best training and challenges.

26 | December 2018 | www. punchline-gloucester .com

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