East-Midlands based housing association Futures Housing Group took part in this year’s National Apprenticeship Week, which ran from 8 to 14 February.
The not-for-profit social landlord focused on women entering the construction sector to celebrate the week – the theme of which was ‘Build the Future’.
Futures Housing Group owns and manages over 10,000 homes across the East Midlands and provides a variety of services such as employment and money advice; an independent living service called Beep Assist; and Limehouse, its development company.
Emily and Beth, from Futures’ repairs team – which looks after the association’s properties by providing gas, electrical, and general property maintenance – took part in the campaign, which also features an interview with Repairs Academy manager Lee Pratt.
Last August, Emily successfully passed her Level 3 domestic plumbing and heating NVQ diploma. She has since gone on to pass her BPEC qualification and become a gas safety registered engineer.
Emily is now a full-time team member at Futures, taking on her own appointments in her own van, managing her workload, and even training up new apprentices.
Futures says Emily is a woman helping to break the mould and make people think differently about construction, adding that it can now offer appointments for customers who would prefer a female operative to attend.
Emily was worried at first about being a woman working in a traditionally male environment, but now says she feels right at home.
Emily said: “I was worried customers might think I wasn’t good enough to do gas, heating, and plumbing work, but they’ve all been really nice, and I’ve had no problems.
“Sometimes you need to prove your worth and try a little harder initially, but everyone is lovely and has really encouraged me.”
Futures also co-owns Access Training – an apprenticeships and traineeships provider – with Nottingham Community Housing Association.
To build even stronger links with Futures and Access Training and the work they do to support apprentices, Ceri Theobald, group director of Strategic Partnerships and Growth at Futures Housing Group, has recently become a board member of Access Training.
Theobald said: “At Futures, we don’t just provide homes for people, however crucial that is. We also give people the chance to find out what they want to do in life, and offer on-the-job learning opportunities to help develop skills and build careers.
“Working closely with Access Training allows us to offer more apprenticeships and therefore not only give people safe, high-quality and affordable homes, but also to find secure, meaningful, and enjoyable careers.”
Image: Emily from Futures’ repairs team.
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