SFHA launches Hous­ing Ap­pren­tice Ac­tion Plan for Scot­land

The Oban Times - - Property -

The Scot­tish Fed­er­a­tion of Hous­ing As­so­ci­a­tions ( SFHA) has launched an am­bi­tious plan for ap­pren­tice­ships.

The Hous­ing Ap­pren­tice Ac­tion Plan for Scot­land 2017–2020 aims to in­crease the amount and range of Modern Ap­pren­tice­ships avail­able. It aims to help build a mo­ti­vated work­force and en­sure the hous­ing sec­tor is viewed as an at­trac­tive em­ploy­ment des­ti­na­tion for young peo­ple look­ing for a ful­fill­ing ca­reer.

The ac­tion plan aligns with the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment’s com­mit­ment to grow­ing and widen­ing Modern Ap­pren­tice­ships across Scot­land, with the aim of in­creas­ing equal­ity and di­ver­sity by ad­dress­ing is­sues around gen­der, ad­di­tional sup­port and com­plex needs and mi­nor­ity group par­tic­i­pa­tion in­clud­ing BME young peo­ple.

The Hous­ing Ap­pren­tice Ac­tion Plan for Scot­land 2017–2020 builds on SFHA ini­tia­tives since 2014 to high­light the im­por­tance of ap­pren­tice­ships. One such ini­tia­tive was the award­win­ning Ap­pren­tice Chal­lenge, a com­pe­ti­tion for young work­ers, which ran for three years.

A steer­ing group, led by SFHA, and con­sist­ing of Skills De­vel­op­ment Scot­land, Char­tered In­sti­tute of Hous­ing Scot­land, As­so­ci­a­tion of Lo­cal Au­thor­ity Chief Hous­ing Of­fi­cers, SHARE, EVH, Con­struc­tion In­dus­try Train­ing Board and PATH Scot­land helped to in­form the plan. The SFHA also re­ceived sup­port and in­put from rep­re­sen­ta­tives from hous­ing as­so­ci­a­tions and lo­cal au­thor­i­ties as well as re­cent and cur­rent ap­pren­tices.

The SFHA’s chief ex­ec­u­tive Mary Tay­lor re­tires at the end of June.

Mary started her ca­reer in the hous­ing sec­tor as a trainee with Scot­tish Spe­cial Hous­ing As­so­ci­a­tion (SSHA).

She said: ‘Now com­ing to the end of my ca­reer, hav­ing started out as an un­em­ployed grad­u­ate in the late 1970s, I can­not imag­ine how I might have got a foothold in hous­ing with­out the chance of a trainee­ship with SSHA.

‘At that time, our pre­de­ces­sors recog­nised the im­por­tance of a skilled, qual­i­fied and mo­ti­vated work­force – grad­u­ate and non- grad­u­ate – to bring in fresh blood and vigour to drive change and re­newal in a va­ri­ety of hous­ing roles.

‘The SFHA wants to see a thriv­ing hous­ing sec­tor that con­tin­ues to pro­vide sus­tain­able and af­ford­able homes in Scot­land, how­ever, ev­i­dence demon­strates there is still more we can do to sup­port work­force de­vel­op­ment across hous­ing.

‘One of the main aims of this ac­tion plan is to en­sure re­sources and in­vest­ment are made in the hous­ing work­force to pro­tect suc­ces­sion man­age­ment and guar­an­tee a skilled and di­verse work­force that can pro­vide sus­tain­able ser­vices to peo­ple across Scot­land.

‘ We would like all hous­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions, re­gard­less of size, to con­sider Modern Ap­pren­tice­ships as part of their re­cruit­ment strat­egy and build a hu­man legacy for the hous­ing move­ment.

‘ We would like to see flex­i­ble fund­ing raised through the new ap­pren­tice levy to ad­dress cur­rent and fu­ture skills gaps and grow ap­pren­tice­ships of all lev­els and dis­ci­plines.

‘Many of to­day’s lead­ers would have strug­gled to get started with­out trainee­ships and ap­pren­tice­ships. Now it’s our turn to de­velop the next gen­er­a­tion.’

Case stud­ies

Me­gan Mor­ri­son, Hous­ing and Ad­min Trainee, Fyne Homes, and win­ner of the Ap­pren­tice Chal­lenge 2016:

‘I was Fyne Homes’ first ap­pren­tice and fin­ished my year-long Modern Ap­pren­tice­ship last Au­gust. On com­plet­ing my ap­pren­tice­ship, I was of­fered a full-time, per­ma­nent po­si­tion in the hous­ing depart­ment. What re­ally ap­pealed to me about an ap­pren­tice­ship was that I would be learn­ing on the job, gain­ing work and life ex­pe­ri­ence. I would be get­ting paid, ed­u­cated, qual­i­fied and trained.

‘I shad­owed col­leagues within the dif­fer­ent de­part­ments of the or­gan­i­sa­tion and, ev­ery day, I was given more re­spon­si­bil­ity and tasks, which was chal­leng­ing at times, but very re­ward­ing.

‘I learned some­thing new ev­ery day, which I be­lieve was build­ing and strength­en­ing my self- con­fi­dence.

‘ Work­ing in this en­vi­ron­ment gave me real insight into the hous­ing sec­tor.

‘This is why I be­lieve it’s re­ally im­por­tant the hous­ing sec­tor in­creases the num­ber and types of Modern Ap­pren­tices it em­ploys, as you are giv­ing a young per­son, like me, a chance of be­com­ing successful.

‘My ap­pren­tice­ship has helped me de­cide on the ca­reer path I wish to pur­sue. I re­ally hope I can en­cour­age young peo­ple to ap­ply for ap­pren­tice­ships, as you can gain great suc­cess, just like mine.’

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