Progress Housing Group welcomes new apprentices
For National Apprenticeship Week, we are delighted to introduce our cohort of six new trade apprentices.
"We are delighted that we have increased our team of Property Services apprentices by six, four of whom live in Progress Housing Group properties.
"We were focused on giving opportunities to people living within our homes and communities who are hardworking, customer-focused, willing to learn and committed to always working to the best of their abilities. We are delighted with our successful applicants.
"This year, we are especially pleased that two of our new apprentices are female. This is because roles within trades are still very male-dominated, so to have increased our female representation within Property Services is fantastic!" - Catherine Mustafa, Head of Maintenance - Property Services
Meet our apprentices!
Natalie, who last year finished university with a degree in graphic design, is an Apprentice Joiner:
"I have only recently finished my graphic design degree but I am excited to start my new career at the Group and get a trade behind me. I think much of what I've learned in my degree will also come in really handy as an apprentice joiner; I feel incredibly lucky to have had the experience of doing a degree and to now go into an apprenticeship to learn a trade as well.
"So far, I am finding the apprenticeship really good. I have already had the opportunity to go into customers' properties and work on lots of different jobs with my mentor, and I have learned a lot already.
"I feel proud to have got this apprenticeship as it is a really sought-after opportunity. Some people do think it's unexpected that I've gone into a joinery career as I am a female in what's been seen as a traditionally male role, but it's been quite an easy transition. It does make me feel quite proud to be doing what I'm doing."
Jason, our Apprentice Bricklayer, joined the Group early last year after receiving support from Progress Futures and the Kickstart initiative. Jason worked in our Caretaker Team before being successful at interview for his apprenticeship:
“I worked as an Estate Caretaker Assistant at Progress Housing Group as part of the Kickstart scheme before applying for this apprenticeship. I’ve always thought it would be really good to get into bricklaying and the apprenticeship has been great so far, I’m enjoying it a lot.
“The whole Property Services Team has been really supportive. If people can see I might be struggling to understand anything, they step in and guide me so that I learn, instead of just doing it for me.
“I’m hopeful and feeling positive for the future that I’ll pass my apprenticeship qualifications and make a great career out of it.
“At high school, I always wanted to get into the trades, so now that I’m here and I’m doing just that, it’s a really proud feeling.”
Kieron is our second new Apprentice Bricklayer:
"My first impressions as an apprentice at Progress Housing Group are that they help you a lot. It's challenging work sometimes - you are always on your feet! But it's also good fun, and I'm learning some really good skills for my future. I am hoping to become a qualified bricklayer."
Adrian, our Apprentice Plumbing and Heating Engineer, saw the apprenticeship vacancy on Indeed, and decided to apply:
"I'm a tenant of Progress Housing Group, and when I saw the apprenticeship with the Group come up on Indeed, I decided to go for it - and I'm glad I did. I was studying Public Services at college but thought that this was a great opportunity not to be missed.
"Having grown up in a Progress Housing Group property myself, it's a good feeling knowing that my job now involves helping other people living in social housing. I'm really proud to be doing this."
Oliver started as an Apprentice Electrician with the Group straight from school:
"Lots of my friends from school have gone on to do A-Levels but I knew that wasn't going to be the right route for me - I've always wanted to do something that would lead directly into a career.
"I learn on the job and go to college in two-week blocks. The people I'm working with have been helpful and so far I've been learning the basics - lots of safe electrics!"
Plumbing and Heating Apprentice, Alicia, was the last to join our new cohort of trade apprentices as she had to give notice on her previous role, working with children in a wrap-around school childcare setting:
"I enjoyed working with children, but I consider that this opportunity with Progress will lead to a lifelong career.
"The apprenticeship is completely different to anything I've been used to so far - in a good way! It is a hands-on job, but I like pushing myself out of my comfort zone. I feel like I'm doing something useful and no day has been the same so far!
The best bits have been helping tenants by working in their properties, and learning from my mentor, Lee, who has been helping me so much.
"I've been independent from my family for a while now, and while living in Progress Housing Group accommodation, I took the opportunity to ask for help from Progress Futures, who help people with their skills, training, education and employment needs. Cathy from Progress Futures has been really supportive. When we spoke about the opportunity to apply for this apprenticeship, she really made me feel like I could do it - and helped give me the confidence to do it by myself.
"My best friend was surprised when I told her I was going into plumbing and heating, especially as it's still mostly men working in this area. But she was over the moon for me, which meant a lot."
"What am I most proud of? That I've achieved this by myself."
Welcome to the Group - Alicia, Oliver, Adrian, Kieron, Jason, and Natalie!