Rishi arrived at his housing provider’s office in February 2018 as a volunteer full of ambition, passion, and a desire to make a difference. With a degree in Digital Media and a keen interest in IT, he was ready and eager to take his first step onto the path of employment.
Through Octavia’s employment support service, he had received career advice and CV support from trained and dedicated employment advisor, Kyrsha. This offer of tailored support, while invaluable in today’s job market, merely served as the start of Rishi’s employment journey with Octavia, and shortly afterwards he began a volunteer placement within the IT team.
Working in IT can be both challenging and rewarding, an environment that enabled Rishi to flourish. Volunteering three days a week, he soon became a popular member of the team, hailed and recognised for his can-do attitude.
His professionalism was impeccable, so much so that he was often mistaken for a full-time member of staff. Hot on the heels of his five-month placement, Rishi was offered an apprenticeship that equipped him with the tools needed to thrive as a fully-fledged IT professional. Three years, one placement, and one apprenticeship later, he has now been appointed as Octavia’s newest infrastructure analyst.
“When I started working at Octavia, I was looking to develop my skills,” says Rishi. “My qualification was an entry-degree, and I needed the knowledge and experience that comes from working in a professional environment.”
He continues: “My placement at Octavia has far exceeded my expectations – I never expected to be employed past my apprenticeship.
“My peers have been instrumental in my learning and development – through good management and quality support, I have become more confident and learnt to be more assertive. As someone with dyslexia, developing these qualities has been very important to me.”
Rishi’s line manager, Alaine, adds: “This appointment is well deserved and was all his own work. Rishi has a demonstrated track record of using his technical ability and excellent customer service skills to produce great results. He should be very proud of himself.”
“I would like to encourage anyone thinking about using Octavia’s employment service to do so,” Rishi concludes.
“They welcomed me with open arms and were never short of valuable advice and solution-based support. It really is a friendly service which is an asset to their residents.”
Octavia recently published its new three-year strategy, Better Lives for all 2021-2024. Reaffirming emphasis on its social purpose, the plan sets out the Octavia’s ambition to be an exemplar as a landlord in its neighbourhoods and as an employer, and how it intends to lead the way in responding to the issues of inequality and opportunity that impact central and west London’s communities.
“I would like to say just how proud I am to have worked with Rishi and be a part of his journey,” says employment support advisor Krysha. “He has always been extremely positive, overcoming any obstacles or pitfalls that come his way.”
Main image: Rishi, infrastructure analyst, Octavia
Are you a social housing professional? Sign up for a FREE MEMBERSHIP to upload news stories, post job vacancies, and connect with colleagues on our secure social feed.