'Why I quit my degree and became an apprentice'

#InspiringApprentice Camran Khan says an apprenticeship that led to a career was a better option for him than university

Apprenticeships: Apprentice property surveyor Camran Khan says that in his role he is helping to improve people's lives

My name is Camran Khan, I am 22 years old and was born in Southampton. I am an apprentice property surveyor, five months into a level 2 customer service apprenticeship with Southampton City Council.

I have been aware of the possibility of taking an apprenticeship since the end of secondary school. However, I wasn’t aware of what qualifications I could achieve (I didn’t know apprenticeships could also be at university level). I expected the apprenticeship to be similar to school or college. However, it’s the complete opposite. Being able to gain experience while learning on the job is such a beneficial factor.


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Apprenticeships vs university

My current role is to carry out stock condition surveys. These are surveys of properties to ensure that the tenants are living in habitable conditions. In essence, I look at the longevity of the components within the property and put dates on them. I really enjoy my work simply because I feel as if I am helping people to live a better life and contributing to growth within society.

My line manager and mentor have been exceptionally helpful. Whenever I have been unsure of what to do or how to do a certain task, they’ve been there to educate me on the correct method and procedure. They are very supportive and without them I would not be in the position I am in today. I love my job because everyone shares the same vision and is dedicated to our mission: to make the city a better place for everyone to live in.

Before my apprenticeship, I was at the University of Portsmouth studying English language and linguistics. I undertook this degree because I have a big passion for language and the way we communicate with one another.

However, I realised that I was only pursuing the degree because it was what my teachers at school told me to do and I was quite good at it. It wasn’t something that I was passionate about and I wasn’t sure about what career I was going to pursue after completing the degree. I also had several friends who had finished their degrees but could not get jobs because they did not have the relevant experience in that field. That worried me, I didn’t want to finish my degree to then go on and not get a graduate job. So, I then decided to drop out of university to look at apprenticeships. At first, my family were not sure that pursuing an apprenticeship was a good idea. However, when I was coming home and telling them all the things I was learning they were very glad and supportive of the decision I made.

After the completion of my apprenticeship, I want to stay with the council and go on to do an HNC. I hope to stay in the property surveyor role and eventually progress to become a building surveyor. I would advise the younger generation who don’t really know what career they want to pursue to go for an apprenticeship. You can earn while you learn, have relevant real-world experiences and progress within business.

Camran Khan is an apprentice property surveyor with Southampton City Council. He tells his story as part of the Tes #InspiringApprentices campaign 

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