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Housing associations look to leaders of the future to tackle housing crisis

Young people have been urged to pursue apprenticeships in housing as the sector marks Scottish Apprenticeships Week.
YCIH

As Scottish Apprenticeships Week gets underway, the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) and the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) have teamed up to re-launch their careers website, Your Career in Housing, with both organisations saying that recruitment in the sector is vital to meet future challenges.

In addition to job opportunities, the Your Career in Housing site features a wealth of content informing applicants about the various roles in housing, as well as testimonials and advice from existing housing professionals on how to begin your career in the sector. Much of the new content from the site’s re-launch was filmed by school pupils across the country.

SFHA, who represent 95% of housing associations and co-operatives in Scotland, has said that investing in young people will be hugely beneficial in delivering future social homes.

Louise Moules, SFHA’s Director of Operations and Membership, said: “We hope that Your Career in Housing encourages young people to pursue the varied and rewarding opportunities that a career in housing has to offer.

“The hands-on experience you get through apprenticeships is simply invaluable in developing skills and knowledge. Given the challenges Scotland is experiencing around housing, we know that the recruitment and retention of young people will be key in delivering the homes the country desperately needs.”

Callum Chomczuk from CIH Scotland said: ““Scotland’s housing professionals are at the heart of our sector and the range of different roles make housing an extremely varied and rewarding career choice.

“I am delighted that for this year’s apprenticeships week that CIH Scotland and the SFHA are celebrating the careers across the sector and highlighting the great work of Scotland’s social landlords.

“To meet the challenges of the future we want more and more young people to choose a career in Scotland’s housing sector. I hope the resources we developed and ‘Your Career in Housing’ website provide information, support and insight to young people about why they should choose a career in housing.”

The variety of roles and rewarding opportunities in housing have also been supported by apprentices throughout the sector who have given their backing to the new website.

Aidan McLeary, who is an 18-year-old in the first year of his administration apprenticeship at SFHA said: “My experience so far in housing has opened my eyes to a lot of things going on in our country.

“It’s a sector that isn’t talked about enough, but I’d definitely recommend it to others as I’ve found it really interesting since starting the job. There’s a friendly, hard-working environment and it’s definitely something more teenagers should know about. “

Lauren Herd, who began her apprenticeship in housing at Elderpark Housing Association in Glasgow, has already got to experience various roles throughout her apprenticeship. She has appealed to others to consider apprenticeships in housing as they take the first steps in their career and said the job can even run alongside going to university.

She said: “I started out as a maintenance administration apprentice, I then had experience in our customer service department before progressing back into maintenance as the administrator responsible for our tenants’ health and safety.

“There are hundreds of housing associations and the good thing about them is that they want to grow their own staff, meaning they nurture and progress you by getting you the training you need.

“You may not feel ready for university now [after leaving school] but you can always go to university whilst working in housing as they’ll support you if you want to do a degree in housing or maintenance for example, it’s a great sector to grow and progress in.”

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