Housing apprentices contribute to national plan to increase young workers
Housing apprentices, past and present, have given their views as to how the sector can increase its amount of young workers.
The meeting, held this week by the Scottish Federation of Housing Association (SFHA) in conjunction with Skills Development Scotland (SDS), saw the apprentices contribute their ideas to help shape the organisations’ national apprenticeship strategy.
Louisa Christodoulou and Joy Henderson from ng homes, Courtney McMahon and Jamielee Daniel from Wheatley Group, and Kimberley Fulton from SFHA took part in the focus group which was facilitated by Diane Cooper, SFHA head of business development, and Kirsten Walker, SFHA media adviser.
The apprenticeship strategy’s key aims are to:
- encourage social landlords to recruit and retain the sector’s future workforce;
- increase the number of social landlords that provide Modern Apprenticeships;
- increase the number of apprentices within the social housing sector; and
- increase the range and type of apprenticeship which the social housing sector is able to offer.
Diane Cooper said: “It was very appropriate to hold this meeting during Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2017 – what better way to mark it than to listen to the young people themselves and get their input on increasing and developing apprenticeships within the sector?
“Apprenticeships are vital for the housing sector in order for it to continue to grow and thrive and are a great platform for young people to start their careers.”
SDS national training programmes operations manager, Tommy Cuthbert, added: “Skills Development Scotland values the long-term support of Scotland’s housing associations for a range of Modern Apprenticeships, which have brought, and will continue to bring, benefits to thousands of individuals and the communities they live in. These apprentices work, learn and earn while gaining industry recognised skills and benefit greatly by learning from their experienced colleagues.”
Joy Henderson was an apprentice with ng homes and is now employed by the housing association as a housing assistant.
Joy said: “I think apprenticeships are a great opportunity, especially when it comes to young adults in their final year at school who may not really know what they want to do, which was the case for me.
“The apprenticeship has allowed me to discover a career I would never have considered before. As well as gaining housing related qualifications, I was also able to learn on the job. It gave me a solid training foundation, and I have developed a range of skills and abilities and gained great experience that will help me to further my career in housing.”
SFHA and SDS will launch their national apprenticeship strategy in June at the SFHA’s Annual Conference, which is taking place at the Doubletree by Hilton, Glasgow Central.