National Apprenticeship Week is an annual celebration of the achievements of apprentices and the positive impact they make to communities, businesses and the wider economy.
Apprenticeships are helping us to provide great careers for colleagues and deliver even better homes and services for customers.
We are celebrating National Apprenticeship Week by showcasing our latest apprenticeship opportunity, with applications now open to join us as an HR Coordinator apprentice.
Throughout this week we are raising awareness of skills for life training, talking to school pupils about careers in housing and answering their questions about apprenticeships.
Apprenticeships are not only for school leavers, though. They can help you progress in your career at any time and can support studies from level 2, through to degrees and postgraduate qualifications.
As our director of housing, Samantha Allcott has a highly demanding role. She is also an apprentice, spending one day a week studying for high-level leadership qualification.
Samantha will complete a Master of Business Administration (MBA) later this year:
“I spend one day each week studying. That can be attending lectures or webinars or doing my own research. Everything I have learned has been relevant to the challenges I face in the workplace. I am getting so much out of my apprenticeship and would recommend it to everyone.”
Chrystal Dias recently completed his Level 4 apprenticeship in data analysis. He says that the opportunity to combine vocational learning with workplace experience brought huge benefits:
“I was 18 when I began my apprenticeship and I learned so much. As well as developing the skills I need to succeed in the workplace, I gained a lot of confidence and as I learned more, I began to really enjoy my job.
I spent ‘blocks’ of full weeks in a virtual classroom. I had to be disciplined and manage my time carefully.
When I completed the apprenticeship, I started my permanent role as a trainee reporting analyst. I am at the start of my career now but I am ready to prove myself and take the next steps.”
Meanwhile, at 18, telecare administrator and coordinator Lucie Deavall is already embarking on her second apprenticeship!
“I joined Housing Plus Group as an apprentice when I left school. I knew that I wanted to finish full-time education and start work.
At the end of my apprenticeship, I was offered a part-time position and now I have a full-time role that I love. My school friends are at university and my life is different. I’m earning while I am learning; I was able to start to drive as soon as I was old enough and I can afford to do things like going on holiday.
My career is underway, and my manager is really good at discussing progression opportunities with me. I have just started a new course, also through an apprenticeship. Becoming an apprentice was the best decision ever.”
Jess Machin is an apprentice co-ordinator in our Learning and Development team.
“I joined the company as an apprentice, after completing a degree in fashion photography at Falmouth University. I love my job. I enjoy being part of a team that helps people to fulfil their potential.
It feels as though I have really found my ‘place’ through my apprenticeship, having been given more responsibility and had more opportunities as my training has progressed. I want to keep learning throughout my career and I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship.”
Shane Richards is studying for an electrical apprenticeship.
“I was working in a different industry before I joined the Group, but I wanted a trade to set me up for the future. With a young family to consider, it was important to be able to earn at the same time as learning, so an apprenticeship was perfect for me.
I have two children and as you can imagine, life can get quite hectic. I manage to balance work and college life with raising a family, though, and if I can do it, anyone can. When I have completed my apprenticeship, I hope to become part of our team of qualified electricians, developing my skills and knowledge as much as I can and progressing in my career.
To anyone considering an apprenticeship, at any stage in your life, I’d say go for it! My advice would be to make the most out of every opportunity and don’t be afraid to ask for help and support if you need it. There are always people who want to help you succeed.”
Apprentices have time to learn, with 80% of their time learning on the job and 20% in off-the-job training. As well as time to learn, our apprentices receive all the support that they need to succeed. In recognition of that support, we have been named Employer of the Year 2022 by one of our education partners, Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group.
“We are committed to creating valuable apprenticeship opportunities for new and existing colleagues,” explained director of People and Marketing, Tony Bishop. “Apprenticeships are supporting great careers in our Group and delivering a fantastic legacy through investment in skills in our communities. It is inspiring to see the success of the talented people who undertake this kind of development, at all levels, and to recognise the managers and teams around them whose support is so important.”
National Apprenticeship Week 2023 takes place between 6 and 12 February.