Apprentice Focus | Architecture

Bailey Partnership

To mark National Apprentice Week we thought we would shine a spotlight on some real-life personal journeys here at Bailey Partnership. 

Chris Milnes is an integral member of our Building Surveying team. He bridges the gap between project management, surveying and architectural design in his unique role here at Bailey Partnership. 

Chris’ career path has been far from traditional. Right from the outset, he has taken alternative routes combining industry experience with both part and full-time learning courses. 

Chris joined Bailey Partnership in 2009 at the tender age of 16, having completed a week’s work experience at the practice during the Easter holidays prior to his GCSEs. Having enjoyed his time in the Architectural team so much, he penned a letter to one of the practice partners at the time, Maurice West. Chris had made a positive impression with his enthusiasm and interest in the work he had been assisting with and he came away from his work experience with an offer of employment for the September following his GCSE results.  

Former Hele’s student Chris had aspirations to follow a more vocational path, eager to gain hands-on experience in a trade rather than continue on for A levels. Initially interested in pursuing a career as a carpenter, Chris soon realised his passion was in drawing and design and accepted the role at Bailey Partnership in the Plymouth office as a Trainee Architectural Assistant. 

Keen to progress his knowledge and skills quickly, he enrolled on the ONC Certificate in Construction Building and Construction Technology at City College Plymouth. Bailey Partnership supported Chris through his qualification and he enjoyed the variety that working in the industry on live projects for four days of the week and a full day at college gave him. 

Having completed his level 3 qualification, Chris has obtained enough UCAS points to apply to university. We were keen to support him and funded his studies at the University of Plymouth. Chris excelled on the course and won several student awards including “Best Working Design”, “Best Working Technology” and “Best Work in Professional Practice”.

It was during this time Chris decided to leave Bailey Partnership to broaden his industry experience. He took an Architectural Assistant position at Gillespie Yunnie Architects in Dartington. He worked on a large amount of residential new builds and renovations. He enjoyed designing beautiful spaces for people to live in, especially the bespoke details. It offered him a different perspective of the profession.  

Fortunately for us, Chris rejoined Bailey Partnership in 2019 bringing a wealth of experience gained from working on various residential projects and immediately picked up a number of key projects across the region which included: 

Conversion of 7 – 8 Elliot Terrace, Plymouth to Luxury Apartments 

New build teaching block at Wembury Primary School, Devon

New build extension block to Cannbridge School and refurbishment at Torbridge Primary School, Plymouth

New build multi-use hall at Boringdon Primary School, Plymouth

Conversion of 22 Lockyer Street to Apartments (Former Devon & Plymouth Chamber building)

Conversion of 45 Citadel Road to Apartments, Plymouth 

Conversion of Second Floor of Pryn Court, The Millfields to Apartments, Plymouth 

Chris has been awarded his Degree in Architecture from Plymouth University and a Postgraduate Diploma in Architecture via the RIBA Studio in conjunction with Oxford Brookes. Currently, Chris is studying his part 3 at the University of the West of England and expects to fully qualify as an Architect in May 2022. He is incredibly passionate about good quality design and always takes an action-oriented approach with all Clients, to ensure they fully understand and feel involved in the various stages of a project.   

Chris is a very talented individual who exhibits such potential, not only in the construction industry but as a decision-maker of the future for the city of Plymouth.