With the introduction of the apprenticeship levy, those who choose to invest in talent including apprentices and existing staff are seeing the benefits.

Orbit-logo.pngMidlands-based housing association Orbit Group, were one of the first to invest in the new Housing Apprenticeship Standard after it's successful trailblazer last year.

Lisa Massey, Future Talent Consultant at Orbit, said: “We currently have 30 employees undertaking the Housing Apprenticeship Standard with PM Training - four are new apprentices and the remaining 26 are existing employees.
I would certainly recommend this approach to other associations and I have already done so at network meetings which I attend.

I hope we will see big impacts in the retention and morale for both apprentices and existing staff, alongside an improved skill base.”

The new housing standards are bespoke and customised to the job role of the housing apprentice, with specific training and development for each individual. The employer, the training provider and the apprentice are all partners, involved in shaping the training and achieving the best outcome.

New standards like these prepare people for sector specific careers. Relevant roles suitable for these qualifications include, Resident Involvement Assistant, Housing Assistant, Neighbourhood Assistant, Customer Services Assistant, Housing Administrator, Lettings Assistant, Assistant Property Manager, Lettings Negotiator, Revenues Assistant and Repairs Assistant.

The end-point assessment is now independently carried out by the CIH, ensuring robust evaluation is guaranteed. PM Training were delighted to become a CIH Approved Centre earlier in the year and continue to work closely with the CIH and other housing associations on further levels and standards.

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The benefits of upskilling existing staff have been seen across Orbit with apprentice Hollie Haines, aged 26, completing her Level 2.

She is currently studying Level 3 and said: “I was working in repairs admin, but when I was doing my level 2, I applied for a housing officer job and I got it.

I was so pleased, this is the job I wanted and the level 2 qualification paid off for me."

The apprenticeship standards are designed to find new upcoming talent that hadn't thought of a career within the sector.  The Level 2 typically lasts 12 to 18 months and Level 3 ranges from 18 to 24 months.

Hollie continued: “I had no knowledge of housing before, I’d studied hairdressing at college, but now I’m studying level 3 and I’m learning about equality, diversity, and communications. At the same time, I’m out in the community working on ASB, safeguarding and lettings and I’m loving my job.

After starting at Orbit 5 years ago, I feel so lucky to say I’m progressing in my career in housing, and I’m enjoying it.”

Hollie is gaining a vast amount of knowledge and skills from the new standard including legislation and regulation, the principles and practices of relevant landlord and tenant law, applicable codes of practice and relevant legal frameworks.

Alongside developing an understanding of organisational background, business planning, organisational values and key performance indicators, Hollie is gaining the right skills to give her career in housing a boost. 

To understand how the Apprenticeship Standards can help to shape your workforce and recruit apprentices contact our Partnerships team.

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