Keep updated on Built Environment industry insights and thoughts from UCEM Principal: Ashley Wheaton.
Vicki Palmers – 2023 Winners
Posted on: 10 February, 2023
Senior CSR & Early Careers Manager, Hollis
Vicki is a Senior Corporate Social Responsibility & Early Careers Manager at Hollis, which has 14 apprentices enrolled on programmes at UCEM.
In fact, the company made a decision early on not to use any provider other than UCEM for built environment apprenticeships, after experiencing better levels of communication and course quality compared with other providers. Now, anyone joining the organisation who is enrolled in another apprenticeship is required to switch to UCEM.
Vicki says UCEM is well set up to support apprenticeships and very organised. “They know how apprenticeships work,” she says, “and if there are ever any problems or queries, they’re always really quick to respond, which is really important.”
Running a company apprenticeship scheme properly is a lot of work: “there’s so much admin and a lot to think about, so having a provider that really understands apprenticeships and knows what they’re doing is really important.” Vicki adds that student feedback about their courses is very positive, and that apprentices feel supported.
Vicki is keen to encourage other employers to consider hiring apprentices, pointing out that “real estate is very much an industry where there are more people retiring than there are joining, and apprenticeships are a really great way to get people into the industry.
“You need lots of different people in the room. Everybody has a different opinion and different take on things. It’s really important to have all of those different voices putting their points across because communities aren’t made up of just one type of person. You need that cross section of everybody.”
Vicki says she was “surprised, but over the moon” to be nominated for the Employer Representative award: “I absolutely love working with the apprentices. One of the things I’m proudest of is setting up the apprenticeship scheme, so it’s nice to be recognised for that.”