A Brighton college has become the first in the south of England to offer a new one-year estate agency course. Agents in the area are being asked to support the initiative by offering work placements.
It leads to a “level 3 qualification” – equivalent to an A level – which is accepted for membership of NAEA Propertymark.
The course has been designed by industry professionals, with Sawyer and Co director Chris Sawyer among the teaching staff.
Sawyer, whose firm is in Portslade, Brighton, will take classes on leasehold properties, enfranchisement and other technical issues.
Sawyer was interested in the course because he said the industry had a problem with recruitment.
He said: “The course enables trainees to hit the ground running. A job in an agency is often sink or swim, and sometimes if the environment is wrong, it might not work out.”
Sawyer, who served as president of the Brighton and Hove Estate Agents Association last year, will liaise between the college and the profession.
Any estate agents interested in collaborating can contact Brighton Metropolitan College curriculum co-ordinator Jane Myles at firstname.lastname@example.org or Sawyer at email@example.com
The college’s head of business and industry services, Helen Curtis, said that work placements were key.
She said: “Students will do a minimum of 30 hours work experience, ideally much more, where they will be inspired and encouraged to get involved.
“Some vocational courses at the college have tenuous links with employers but in this case we have been working closely with industry from the outset and businesses remain on board.”
One student, Ricardo Seaman, took A levels but now wanted a practical course. He enrolled because of the qualification in customer service. He used to work at Primark and in a call centre.
He said: “I guess I just talk to people and I know how to sell.”
Another student, Autumn-Moon Chan-Garvey, has A levels in applied law, sociology and psychology, but wants to do an apprenticeship rather than go to university.
She said that she liked the course because it combined knowledge with practical skills – and it’s her last year of free education.
Property course tutor is Kerry Salkeld, an estate agent in nearby Shoreham because it fitted in with her family commitments.
Students can still apply to join this course by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org