Over the past eight years, the Chartered Institute of Housing have hosted Scottish Housing Day, which celebrates all things housing and promotes the importance that housing plays in everyday life and society. This year, Scottish Housing Day takes place on Wednesday 13 September, and it is centred around celebrating housing as a career path and celebrating all the great work that everyone in housing does.
South Lanarkshire Council is a landlord to over 25,000 tenants and council homes across South Lanarkshire. These tenancies and homes are managed by dedicated services within Housing and Technical Resources, with a diverse workforce who have a wide range of skills and experience to ensure high quality housing and homelessness services are provided.
To enable staff to deliver these services, the council provides a wide range of opportunities for them to improve their skills, learning and development. This includes securing additional housing specific qualifications, vocational training and external learning opportunities.
In addition, the council supports those wishing to begin a career in the housing sector, with Modern Apprenticeships available across a number of housing and property services. Currently, there are 5 Modern Apprentices within Housing Service’s; each of them are going through their SVQ and CIH qualifications, and one Modern Apprentice has now secured a permanent Housing Assistant role.
Enabling staff to develop is a key part of the council’s approach, ensuring they are best placed to take on new challenges and opportunities. One of Housing Services’ Integrated Housing Options Team Leaders, Jenna Freer, has taken full advantage of these opportunities, with her story shared below:
‘I left school at 17 and joined South Lanarkshire Council as a Modern Apprentice in February 2017. I was a Housing Assistant for three years and during this time I was provided with the opportunity to complete a Business and Administration Level 3 Scottish Vocational Qualification. Not only did this give me the opportunity to gain a qualification but also the chance to work while doing so. While being a Modern Apprentice I was able to complete Level 1 and 2 British Sign Language, this opened more prospects for me in and out of work, I gained skills that I can use for the rest of my life. During the first few years of being a part of the team in Hamilton I quickly learned I had a passion for helping people and I wanted to apart of making a positive change to everyone that uses the service.
I progressed on to Housing Officer in June 2020, and was given the opportunity to complete the Shelter Scotland – Introduction to housing law Level 1 & 2. The council continue to provide training courses to improve skills and knowledge every step of the way and encourage progression. While carrying out my role as housing officer I realised the more I progress the more I can be involved in making decisions to better the housing service we provide. In September 2020 I began the Chartered Institute of Housing Level 2 Housing Practice qualification, this qualification helped develop my career prospects.
In February 2023 I progressed again to Lead Housing Officer and shortly after this in July 2023 I was successful in securing a Team Leader post within the Hamilton team. I will be starting Chartered Institute of Housing Level 3 in September, and with the continued training and opportunities the council provide, my goal is to continue progressing within the housing sector.’
If you would like to know more about a career in housing with the council, providing vital services for tenants and other customers across South Lanarkshire, visit www.myjobscotland.gov.uk for current vacancies.