Together Housing were the first housing association to deliver a land-led housing scheme under EN:Able Build, Efficiency North's innovative venture established to help improve the supply of affordable homes in the Northern England.
As part of that collaboration, Together Housing took on six apprentices from EN:Able Futures’ Apprenticeship Academy.
Apprenticeships are just one example of how housing can stimulate economic growth by enabling young people to earn while they learn.
Three of the students - Connor Wilkinson, Tommy Tasker and Megan Savage - achieved a Distinction Star, the highest grade you can get. Danya Ross achieved a Distinction and Luke Charlesworth and Kian Craig achieved a Merit.
The students have been working as Property Services Apprentices while studying for their diplomas in Level 3 Construction and the Built Environment at Leeds College of Building.
Busting the myth that construction is a man’s world, Megan is hoping to study Architecture at Huddersfield and Danya is looking forward to following in her dad’s and grandad’s footsteps.
Danya 19, from Featherstone, said: “I decided to go down the apprenticeship route because you are learning as well as working for your own money. What attracted me to this particular apprenticeship is that my grandad and dad have always being in the building game and I wanted to carry this on throughout the family.
“There are so many women who work in construction who do an amazing job. I’ve met so many women in Together Housing who are very hands on with construction and I think it’s such an astounding thing to see. No job is just a man’s job.”
Danya, who enjoys rock climbing and ice skating in her spare time, added: “One of the things I have enjoyed the most is going out on site. I found it so interesting seeing the start of projects moving onto completion. Seeing the full process from a kitchen being ripped out and everything just destroyed, to a brand new kitchen being installed is such a good opportunity.
“Before I started the apprenticeship, I had little experience of talking to strangers so the thought of meeting tenants was quite scary but I have grown in confidence so much and now I really enjoy meeting new people. I also found juggling my college work with the day to day work at Together Housing challenging at first but it has taught me to be more organised. I’ve also learnt to speak up and ask questions as that is the best way to learn.
“If anyone is thinking about signing up for a property service apprentice I’d say go for it. It’s such a brilliant thing to do. There are so many different roles in construction and being an apprentice in Together Housing has shown me all the different aspects to construction and housing associations, which has helped me shape what kind of person I want to be.”
George Paterson, Group Director of Assets at Together Housing Group, said: “Homes are at the heart of a stronger economy. Social housing is one of the country’s greatest assets. Investment in social housing and support for the people who live in it is good for the economy, creating jobs and improving wellbeing.”
In 2018-19, housing associations and local authorities in England built almost 51,000 affordable homes – more than a quarter of all new homes. This added an estimated £2.7bn to the national economy, supporting more than 48,500 jobs.
Housing associations and local authorities’ day-to-day management of their existing homes adds an estimated £12.7bn to the national economy, supporting almost 210,000 jobs.
This story originally appeared on Together Housing's community news, read the original article here.