This week marks National Apprenticeship Week – the 15th annual week-long celebration of apprenticeships.
The week brings together businesses and apprentices across the country to shine a light on the positive impact that apprenticeships make to individuals, businesses and the wider economy.
The theme for National Apprenticeship Week 2022 is ‘build the future’; reflecting on how apprenticeships can help individuals to develop the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career, and businesses to develop a talented workforce that is equipped with future-ready skills.
Here our apprentice Matt Carter talks about his time at Warrington Housing Association.
What is your apprenticeship in and why did you choose this sector?
My job role is a Housing Coordinator apprentice, alongside the day to day work, I am working towards a Chartered Institute for Housing – Level 3 Housing and Property Management qualification. I was drawn to the social housing sector, after a number of years volunteering with a local homeless and refugee charity in Chester called SHARE, as part of this role I would go out in a team on an outreach van providing clothes, food, drinks and a friendly face to chat to, from this I became passionate about the importance of social housing and the need for much more of it to exist.
What does your average working week look like?
The average week would involve, answering calls, dealing with tenant queries, be it about repairs, rents, or other housing issues. As well as this you would also be on contact with potential future tenants and other stakeholders. I also attend visits with the Housing Officers, where appropriate to get a wider understanding of their roles with things like investigating tenancy breaches.
Why did you opt to do an apprenticeship?
I have done A levels and a degree in History, I chose to do an apprenticeship as a way of getting some experience in the social housing sector, and to be able to build on that experience to start a career in housing.
What is the most rewarding thing about your apprenticeship?
When you know you have really helped a tenant either sort and issue out, or explained something they didn’t understand, be it regarding their rent, their benefit entitlement or something they believe is wrong with their current property structurally.
How has your apprenticeship changed/developed during your time at Warrington Housing Association?
I don’t think I could have joined my apprenticeship at a more complicated time, at the outset of a global pandemic, so my apprenticeship has had lots of changes, per the covid guidance on top of any training I had to undertake, in the time when restrictions had eased, I was able to get out and about on the estates we manage.
What has been your greatest achievement during the apprenticeship?
The community event I held in the summer, I felt was a big success, it allowed us both the see many of our tenants, and to ask in depth questions regarding issues around fuel poverty.
In the process we were also to ascertain any issues the tenants had either on the estate, or with their properties and make arrangements for these issues to be reported back to the customer service team or passed to the relevant officer for further investigation.
What has been a challenge?
A challenge during my apprenticeship, as with general life over the last couple of years is the chopping and changing of restrictions and the effect that has on both the work I can carry out and the experiences I have picked up, as well as leading to some disruption in my apprenticeship qualification.
If one of your friends was thinking about doing an apprenticeship what advice would you give them?
If the field of study is an area you want to work in for the future and you lack some of the experience to enter the sector. I would highly recommend the opportunities an apprenticeship can bring. The experience gained over two years will be invaluable to future career progression.