Julie-Ann Cloherty: Celebrating Scottish Apprenticeship Week with Share

Julie-Ann Cloherty: Celebrating Scottish Apprenticeship Week with Share

Julie-Ann Cloherty

Scottish Apprenticeship Week takes place from 4-8th March and this year celebrates the theme of Skills Generation. As Share is one of the only delivery partners for the Modern Apprenticeship (MA) in Housing, Learning and Development Officer and MA Assessor Julie-Ann Cloherty reflects on what this means for the sector.

I have worked with Modern Apprentices for most of my six years at Share, and I am delighted to say that we now have more MAs than ever, with waiting lists of organisations keen to join our programmes. Our team are currently working with around 30 Modern Apprentices across the country.

Having worked on board appraisals and with the HR network, I am also keenly aware of the recruitment issues and succession challenges facing the sector. Turning to our younger workforce and encouraging skills development through this route offers a fabulous opportunity to start addressing some of these issues.

The housing associations and local authorities that we work with to support these young housing professionals have worked hard to strike the balance with giving Modern Apprentices opportunities to gain insight and experience to all aspects of the business, whilst providing a safe and supportive space to learn, develop and grow.

Entering the housing profession can be a steep learning curve. Just this week, I spoke with two young housing professionals about some of the challenges they have encountered in their new roles, and I have been equally heartened by the compassion, empathy, and resilience that they have displayed in the face of these challenges.

It is a well-worn phrase in housing that most professionals fall into the sector, happening across its path when life was taking them in another direction, and we have often collectively bemoaned the fact that there is no clear path for graduates into housing. The conversation overlooks the fact that we have a clear route for career progression in housing, that can start with those leaving school and that works. We have witnessed many of the Modern Apprentices we have worked with over the years return to complete CIH level 3 and 4 qualifications, many have earned promotions and become leaders in their own rights.

But we know the job is not always easy and when we talk about the skills generation, some of the most important skills that we need to face the challenges in the sector now are the “soft skills” – confidence, resilience, communication, and problem solving.

That is why Share have set up the Young Housing Professionals Network – to support our Modern Apprentices and other new housing professionals in the development of their careers with a particular focus in helping develop these skills sets.

Our vision is for a holistic service for our young housing professionals, where we support and mentor them in the workplace, provide them with networking
opportunities out with their own organisations and are there to help them when it is time to move on with CV and interview coaching.

If you are considering recruiting a Modern Apprenticeship within your organisation, click here to find out more or contact the team for a chat on 0141 370 6877.

If you are interested in the Young Housing Professionals Network, please email jcloherty@share.org.uk.

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