Our approach to recruitment and developing our people is to ‘grow from within’. We’re very proud of our record of developing people, in fact more than 50% of our leadership team is made up of people who have come through the ranks at LSI Architects.
Working for long-term sustainability, our approach means that it’s important to always be looking for talented and enthusiastic Part 1’s, Part 2’s and aspiring Architectural Technologists to join our team and continue to develop their skills, knowledge and experience with us.
In 2020 we shared the stories of Joe, Matt, and Douglas’ journeys to becoming fully qualified Architects and to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, we’d like to introduce our most recently qualified Architect – Kate Barritt-Cunningham and share her journey to becoming an Architect.
Kate’s story is an interesting one, with her amongst the first Architects to become qualified via the apprenticeship route!
Kate joined LSI Architects in June 2018 after completing her BA (Hons) Architecture degree at both Newcastle University and Norwich University of the Arts. She spent a year working full-time in LSI Architects’ Norwich office on a range of projects, including the new Lotus Academy building for Norwich City Football Club.
In 2019, Kate returned to her studies and began her Level 7 Architectural Apprenticeship at London South Bank University, funded by the practice, combining her Part 2 and 3 on a day release programme.
Studying via an apprenticeship can make higher education more accessible due to the financial support that can be offered by companies. All apprentices at LSI Architects are supported with a fulltime wage, inclusive of performance pay reviews.
Kate said that “other than the increased amount of practice experience I would gain, the thing that really drew me towards the apprenticeship was that I wouldn’t have to put other aspects of my life, such as buying a house, on hold. I was able to continue enjoying my life and progressing within my role at LSI Architects, opposed to studying fulltime and juggling a waitressing job on the side.
Although the course was demanding at times, I still felt that I had a very healthy balance between my work commitments and studying. It’s definitely helped with my workplace efficiency and time management!”
Kate’s apprenticeship was spread over four years, making it slightly longer than the traditional fulltime courses, but has allowed her to gain almost five years of practice experience in comparison to just two years required for the traditional route to architectural qualification. During this time, Kate has been involved in a real range of projects across various sectors, from early development ideas, feasibility studies, planning submissions to tender stage development. She has worked on several more projects at the Norwich City Football Club Academy, including most recently a Sports Recovery Hub, a workshop fit-out for KLM, new inspection facilities for the Port of Felixstowe, a new community hub for the YMCA and numerous projects in the education sector including Wymondham Prep School.
“I also felt that studying part time enabled me to gain a realistic experience of what the industry is like, and develop an understanding of Regulations, which then proved really valuable when it came to presenting my final project.”
Kate successfully completed her Part 2 in June 2022 before swiftly moving onto her Part 3 and qualifying this February. Congratulations from everyone at LSI, this is a fantastic achievement!
Kate isn’t the only employee we have been supporting when it comes to qualifications. In fact, LSI are currently funding qualifications for 26% of our team, half of which are apprentices! Here’s what they’re up to:
Emilia Blyskal – Emilia joined LSI Architects as an Architectural Assistant in May 2021 after graduating from the University of the West of England with a First. Emilia is based in LSI’s London studio where she is currently working within our healthcare team. Emilia attends London Metropolitan University on day release, where she is completing her Level 7 Architecture Apprenticeship.
Chloe Gladden – Chloe joined LSI in July 2021 having graduated from Norwich University of the Arts in 2020. Chloe currently attends London South Bank University on day release, where she is completing her Level 7 Architecture Apprenticeship.
Josh Taplin – Josh joined LSI in early 2021 following the completion of his BA at Norwich University of the Arts. Josh is currently working in our Norwich studio within the LSI Architects healthcare team, whilst attending London South Bank University on day release for his Level 7 Architectural Apprenticeship.
Holly Wise – Holly joined LSI in the summer of 2021 having completed her BA at Norwich University of the Arts, where she was the Architecture course representative. Whilst working within our education team, Holly currently attends London Metropolitan University on day release where she is completing her Level 7 Architecture Apprenticeship alongside Emilia.
James Cooper – James joined LSI in 2019 as a Trainee Architectural Technologist, having finished his A-levels at Paston College. James completed his HND in Construction and the Built Environment in 2022 whilst working at the Practice, and is now attending London South Bank University where he is completing his apprenticeship in Architectural Technology.
Henry Dobson – Henry joined LSI in late 2018 for work experience as part of his college course requirements. Once he had completed his course, Henry joined LSI as a full-time employee in July 2019. Henry completed his HND in Construction and the Built Environment in 2022 whilst working at the Practice, and is now attending London South Bank University where he is completing his apprenticeship in Architectural Technology alongside James.
Jess Jackson – Jess joined the Practice in May 2005 as an Administrative Assistant, and is now LSI’s Administration Team Leader. Jess has recently taken up the role in supporting our HR Manager, and started working towards her CIPD Level 3 Foundation Certificate in People Practice.
Alfie Dunthorne – Alfie joined LSI in September 2021 after studying a Level 3 Information Technology Diploma at City College Norwich, and has since returned to complete his Level 3 Apprenticeship in Business Administration. Alfie works within our IT department and provides CAD support to our technical team.
Lucy Glen – Lucy joined the LSI Admin Team in August 2021 having just finished her A Levels at City College Norwich. She returned in January 2022 to complete her Level 3 Apprenticeship in Business Administration. You may have spotted Lucy on our Reception desk!