World Youth Skills Day – Chapman Taylor’s commitment to developing the next generation of designers

As the United Nations marks World Youth Skills Day, we at Chapman Taylor London will this week welcome two more future architects to our company to gain valuable work experience. As a RIBA-chartered practice, Chapman Taylor believes in investing in the future by identifying the talents and skills of the next generation of architects. We believe that harnessing and developing talent in younger architects and designers is the key to both our company’s future success and to ensuring that high design standards are passed on for the benefit of future generations.

During the past year, Chapman Taylor has sponsored and fundraised for the RIBA “Future Architects’ Pledge”, aimed at supporting the next generation of architects through their studies. The funds raised go to the RIBA Student Hardship Fund and the RIBA National Schools Programme.

We are involved in the RIBA Student Mentoring Scheme, which is offered to second year and third year Part 1 undergraduates as practical preparation and help for their career and personal development. Its purpose is to give students an insight into practice and to enhance their learning experience.

Through personal contact and regular involvement, mentoring gives opportunities for students and practitioners to discuss and develop joint understanding of professional practice in the context of the rapidly changing role of architects. In particular, it is excellent preparation for the year-out experience.

Our in-house Executive Groups plays an important role in helping our younger staff to develop expertise and to share knowledge with each other. A crucial element is the CPD (Continuing Professional Development) programme it organises – an ongoing and regular series of talks and demonstrations, usually by external experts, in diverse areas relevant to a design practice such as ours.

The Executive Group also runs a Student Support Group for staff studying for RIBA Part III exams. Part III mentoring by experienced architects is a key part of this process – which is very useful for everyone approaching Part III exams, but particularly for those who find it more difficult to ask questions proactively.

Our Manchester and Bristol studios have developed a university liaison programme, going to universities to attend exhibitions, even to teach. The London studio is looking to develop a similar relationship with a well-known university.

We also have links with local schools, providing work experience in holiday periods and ongoing career advice. This has allowed pupils (aged 16-18) to experience working across the different areas of our business, helping them make decisions about their career directions. In the last 18 months, we have provided work experience for a total of 25 students – 12 in the London studio, 10 in the Manchester studio and three in our Bristol studio.

University of Bath, Dept. of Architecture

For more information about how Chapman Taylor works with young architects, designers and the wider community to foster skills and career development, please contact:

Heather Graydon

Human Resources, London

Heather has been with Chapman Taylor since December 1993. She currently manages the HR function for the UK studios and oversees the office management in London.

Working in a studio of artistic people, Heather considers her strength lies in practical administration.

Areas of expertise:

HR and Administration

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