From School to Professional: Building a Brighter Future

Founded in 1953, we are proud to mark our 70th anniversary year by celebrating the positive impact Ryder has made on the communities in which we work

Founded in 1953, we are proud to mark our 70th anniversary year by celebrating the positive impact Ryder has made on the communities in which we work.

More than an architectural practice, we bring together diverse expertise and lead projects in a unique, integrated way for the benefit of our clients and communities. This is particularly evident in our approach to learning and development. We focus on creating opportunities and nurturing talent through collaboration that drives exceptional, measurable outcomes.

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For many years we have been working with schools, colleges, universities, apprenticeship programmes and community groups to develop young people – from ‘school to professional’ – and by demonstrating the rewards that a career in the built environment can bring.

We go beyond simply bridging skills gaps – we want young people to be excited by architecture, engineering and construction, and to recognise the abundance of opportunities available to them.


The world in 2023 is a very different place from 1953. The challenges and opportunities that exist today, such as the climate emergency and the rise of artificial intelligence, would have been unimaginable 70 years ago. However, some similarities remain – such as the need for radical solutions to support skills and material shortages, and ongoing cycles of economic uncertainty, set against a backdrop of political volatility and global conflict.

In some ways, built environment education hasn’t changed that much either!

Architecture in 1953 was elitist, with limited access for talented people from disadvantaged backgrounds and unrepresentative of the people and communities it served. In the intervening period, siloed companies, professional institutions, and government agencies have made glacial progress to realise the real opportunities of the 2020s and beyond.

As a multidisciplinary practice, integrated design has always been at the heart of Ryder’s approach which is only possible through a culture of team working, empowerment and a pioneering education system challenging outdated norms.

Our overarching goal is simple, to improve the quality of the world around us and, in doing so, improve people’s lives. An approach embedded in the origins of Ryder, and which remains a touchstone today.

In the mid 1990s, a series of progressive initiatives began a journey to what has become our annual Blueprint festival – an opportunity for all of our people to reflect, share and learn. This was also the beginnings of our Everything architecture vision – the sum of all disciplines and areas of expertise working in harmony – which is underpinned by equality of opportunity and a culture which encourages innovation and a ‘grappling hook’ approach to self motivated learning.

Our approach to education has allowed us to enrich the construction industry by creating innovative opportunities to learn, in response to our changing industry – through primary and secondary education, award winning apprenticeships and PhDs, and always with an emphasis on work based learning.

Over the last decade, we have invested over £1.5m in the education of 80 apprentices who have gone on to successful careers in the built environment, delivered 2,000 workshops to over 50,000 school pupils and supported six PhDs.

And in 2023 alone, as we mark our 70th year, we’ve invested in expanding our award winning apprenticeship programme, PlanBEE, nationally and internationally, we’re collaborating with Class Of Your Own’s Design Engineer Construct programme and are supporting Mortal Fool’s revolutionary mental health intervention programme, Melva, for primary age children, alongside our existing education partnerships and collaborations.

Looking ahead, we will continue to inspire, support and empower our people, our communities and the next generation of built environment professionals, through the next 70 years and beyond.

Learn more in 70 years of Ryder series.