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5 minutes with 8th January 2024

Here we meet Muhammed Ehsan, Apprentice Management Surveyor, who joined Workman in 2021 after completing A Levels in Economics, Geography and Sociology. Muhammed is going into the third year of his apprenticeship, which will be complete once he has passed the APC, expected in July 2026.

What three words describe Workman?

Inclusive, welcoming, busy.

What are the next steps in your apprenticeship journey at Workman, and how do you hope to develop your role in the coming months and years?

Having completed the first two years of my Apprenticeship with Workman, I start the APC process in February 2024.

In the next month, I will take on more responsibility and become more involved in the day-to-day management of the retail parks I help manage. Previously I was assisting, but now I hope to gain more property management experience and client exposure.

Client exposure in the early days is a really helpful aspect of being a Workman apprentice, the inclusivity is there to build people’s skillsets no matter how junior or senior they are: “every day is a school day” as some of the Partners like to say.

How are you currently putting your skills to their best use at Workman?

I have worked to unpick accounts, helping on our Hermes and Derwent managed portfolios to work through the legacy of Covid-19 arrears, and there have been some real results there.

I have brought persistence, curiosity, independence, and numeracy to the task. I have also gained experience of dealing with lots of different occupiers, including big multinational occupiers, dealing with a wide range of people to unpick those arrears.

What has been your standout moment at Workman so far?

It’s a change that I was part of to make the Workman tradition of “DRW Day” more inclusive.

Workman gives a discretionary additional day’s leave, known as “DRW Day”, which was historically set out to be used during the Christmas period.

However, as a result of our work as part of the Race Ethnicity and Cultural Heritage (REACH) Employee Network, the decision has been made to allow those that do not celebrate Christmas to take the “DRW Day” at a different time during the year, to mark a religious or cultural celebration.

I worked with colleagues to highlight the need for this change, and I am proud that we achieved it. Obviously, it’s not property related, but it makes Workman all the more inclusive.

How do you feel that Workman and the wider property sector are addressing issues around Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion (DEI)?

At Workman, as part of the REACH group, we have worked to spread awareness around diverse religious and cultural festivals such as Ramadan and Rosh Hashanah. I have written articles for our intranet explaining what Ramadan is and how colleagues can be helped during that month – to help demystify it.

There’s been open discussion around raising awareness of the needs of different cultures and religions. For example, from my own experience working in the Manchester office, I have a designated space to pray, which is accepted and normalised among my colleagues.

In addition to this, when I have been out to visit clients such as Hermes, I have felt very included, because they are very accommodating around timing meetings and using their facilities to fit my religious practices.

I know that all new Workman spaces and reconfigured offices will look to include a wellbeing room; these spaces will then be made available as faith spaces, lactation rooms and quiet spaces for those that require it, which can only be a positive improvement for everyone working in the property sector.

What change would you make to the wider property sector? And why?

I would like to see more and more young people coming into the industry, which I believe will also increase diversity within the sector.

There are more young people coming into the industry with firms like Workman recruiting graduates and apprentices, so hopefully the entire industry will benefit from this in years to come.

What first led you into the property industry?

As part of my A Levels, I needed to do some coursework for Geography. I picked a development in my local area in Rochdale where there was a new government-funded town centre scheme going on.

From that, I got really interested in why developments happen in certain areas, and what drives that. I was initially planning to go into the project management side but went into property management because I was interested in everything overall – the bigger picture rather than just civic projects alone.

What are your spare time pursuits and how do they feed into your role at Workman?

I play quite a lot of football at the weekends, which gives me good team skills. And once a month I go trekking around different hills and peaks with a group of friends. It helps me de-stress myself, take time outdoors, and have a break from screens and the office, so I can go back to work feeling refreshed and inspired.

What is your favourite building worldwide, and why?

My wife loves this building: the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. It’s an architectural masterpiece, known worldwide for its white marble.

The mosque is one of the world’s largest and was the vision of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan – the founding father of the United Arab Emirates. He envisaged the creation of a welcoming and cultural haven that inspires people from all backgrounds.

What book or podcast do you recommend?

This was an eye-opener podcast for me, it’s The Stories of the Prophets, by scholar Mufti Ismail Menk. It draws on teachings from all three Abrahamic faiths, but also gives vital life lessons for normal day to day life.


Find out more about the Workman Apprenticeship Scheme here.