The Property Sector covers a wide range of job roles and activities, but this apprenticeship focuses on the sale of residential property and residential lettings and property management. Estate Agents and Lettings Agents provide a quality service to customers in selling or renting properties ensuring that advice given and action taken meets legal requirements. Property and Lettings administrators tend to be office based roles, providing the first point of contact for customers and ensuring that legal requirements on data protection and the security of staff and customers are met.
Currently there are approximately 360,000 employees in the property and housing sector in over 105,000 workplaces. At present the figures for property alone cannot be disaggregated from housing. Over 55% of the organisations in the sector employ 10 people or less.
While the property sector is experiencing challenges in the recovering economy, there are signs of a general improvement in performance with 20% of employers planning to move into other areas of activity to develop their business within the next 12 months. Many employees put their career plans on hold during the recession but now the industry is stabilising employees are looking to continue their career development. 67% of property sector employees ranked career progression as the most important factor influencing their choice to change jobs and the apprenticeship will make a positive contribution to that process.
In a recent survey,70% of property companies aim to ‘grow moderately’ but only 17% of companies expected to ‘grow rapidly’ over the next three years.18% of companies stated they had spent more time on training compared to the same period last year, 12% stated they have spent more money on training. The majority of respondents (53%) claimed that the level of investment and time spent on training has remained the same.
Challenges faced by the property sector companies include:
- Staffing & Training – Respondents highlighted several issues related to staffing and training in the property sector. Several respondents indicated that recruiting and retaining skilled staff was challenging, especially in rural areas. In addition, some respondents stated that the availability and cost of training was a problem;
- Market Share – Expanding the business through increasing the property portfolio and attracting new clients, while dealing with competition from other business were also identified as challenges in the property sector;
- Legislation – Ensuring that employees are up to date with changes in property legislation such as energy performance and the deposit scheme were identified as a challenge currently facing companies.
Future competences required by the sector include:
- Addressing legislative changes
- Low carbon – energy efficiency
- The lettings market
- Office management
- Technological changes i.e. use of computers and the internet
- Licensing or registering of agents
In order to obtain/develop skills in the above areas it is likely that employers within the property industry will have to invest time and money in recruitment and training.
The Intermediate and Advanced Apprenticeship has 2 pathways, Sale of Residential Property and Residential Letting and Management, which will provide a career route into the sector, and those already in the sector will have opportunities to upskill and develop their careers.
Employers have been involved in the design of the qualifications in the framework which will develop the critical skills required within the sector. The Framework has also been updated to meet the requirements of the new Specification of Apprenticeships Standards for England.
The framework will contribute to meeting the skills priorities for England by:
- Providing flexible access to a high quality Level 2 skills programme, which act as a real alternative to GCSEs and A levels for those who prefer this style of learning and achievement;
- Incorporating skills to improve the general literacy, numeracy and ICT in England;
- Using technical and competence qualifications, valued by employers, to help their businesses grow and remain competitive;
- Developing Apprentice’s Personal Learning and Thinking Skills, to build their confidence and creativity, improving their social and working lives;
- Developing Apprentice’s employability skills, making them more attractive to all employers whichever career they choose;
- Providing a career pathway into jobs and training at Level 3 and higher, to provide the skills which the economy needs to grow.
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