Preston architects empower local talent

Cassidy and Ashton, a Preston-based multi-disciplinary practice, embody a commitment to fostering local talent and advancing their expertise across various architectural disciplines.

With over five decades of experience, their dedication to team development and specialised services has propelled Cassidy and Ashton to a prominent position in the North West, boasting a diverse clientele throughout the UK.

The firm's ability to handle large-scale projects while maintaining personalised client relationships is a principle deeply ingrained in their ethos. This approach not only sustains a loyal customer base but also provides invaluable learning experiences for their apprentices, such as their University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) based degree apprentice Finlay Woods. The business was already aware of the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT) course through previous contact with the University’s course leaders and suggested that it would be advantageous on completion of Finlay’s college course to jump across to the Architectural Technology Degree Apprenticeship. Alistair Baines, Architect and Chairman saw the benefits the course could bring to the workplace:

“Any business needs the structure of a hierarchy of juniors, intermediates, and senior people. Finlay fits perfectly into that structure. He's become very useful to us and in a world where recruitment is extremely difficult, we’re able to ‘grow our own’. With the additional training we’re giving him, the learning curve has been exponential. 

"I’ve benefitted professionally and personally since I've started the course. The tutors have supported me and having a mentor at work has also helped me to progress and gain confidence."

Finlay Woods, Degree Apprentice at Cassidy and Ashton

Looking ahead, Cassidy and Ashton are keen to consider taking on more apprentices from the University of Central Lancashire, to further develop their working relationship, underscoring the mutual benefits of investing in local talent. Alistair sums up the experience and provides some advice for any businesses or individuals considering Degree Apprenticeships:

“It’s positive for the individual most importantly, and positive for us as a business. I would strongly recommend it to other employers. If you are a business looking at sustainability and planning, then I would say be patient. Look for the talent that is there on the doorstep and develop those individuals, because it works.”

Talking about his positive experience, Finlay said: “I’ve benefitted professionally and personally since I've started the course. The tutors have supported me and having a mentor at work has also helped me to progress and gain confidence. I am sure I will have more career opportunities because of the course.”

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