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Introducing our New Level 3 Apprenticeship in Housing Practice

10 February 2022

To coincide with NI Apprenticeship Week, North West Regional College (NWRC) is delighted to announce details of a new Level 3 Apprenticeship in Housing Practice for September 2022.

Located at NWRC Strand Rd Campus, this new and innovative programme will provide learners who are interested in working in the Housing sector an opportunity to gain essential knowledge and skills whilst working with a Housing provider or Housing Association. Following successful completion, learners can pursue a career as a professional Housing Officer, Customer Service Assistant, Property Services Administrator or explore Tenant Involvement Roles. Gaining this entry-level qualification into the Housing sector will enable learners to progress to senior positions in the Housing sector.

The programme has been designed to reflect the demands of the Housing sector today, and in the future, and to ensure that Apprentices are equipped with the appropriate knowledge and professional skills required to work in Housing.

Work-Based Learning is a core component of the programme that will provide students the opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge and professional practice standards in real-time physical contexts. Apprentices will be provided the opportunity to work in the Housing sector and in different departments, to gain a holistic learning experience.

The Housing Practice Apprenticeship framework has been developed in collaboration with Housing Providers and Housing Associations from across Northern Ireland, the Chartered Institute for Housing.

Regional Curriculum Hub Manager for Health and Social Care, Caroline McKeever, North West Regional College said:

“I am delighted that eight social housing providers have already committed to employ 17 apprentices, which is a great opportunity for young people. Housing is a wonderful career that is well worth pursuing.”

This collaboration has helped strengthen the FE College partnerships with Housing Providers and Housing Associations; the development of a high-quality standardised programme of learning for those thinking of pursuing a career in Housing and want to work as a Housing Officer.

Justin Cartwright, Cert CIH MCMI, Chartered Institute for Housing, National Director, Northern Ireland said:

“I believe there needs to be a full educational offer for the housing profession, beginning with school leavers. Apprenticeships are a great option for people to begin a career in housing. Apprenticeships are also a good way of ensuring that housing employers have access to new talent, which breathes new life into the profession and sets us up for the future.”

Since the absence of a University Undergraduate Degree in Northern Ireland, the Housing sector has experienced challenges in recruiting and maintaining a healthy and skilled workforce that can handle housing stress, chronic homelessness, anti-social behaviours, supporting people to secure affordable housing, and to improve the standard of living for all.

The Housing Officer of today requires strong and effective leadership skills; to demonstrate resilience; and to be able to reflect on their practices effectively. Antisocial behaviours have increased in Northern Ireland over the last several years which has resulted in greater demands placed on housing and maintenance teams where damage to properties has taken place. Housing roles will continue to diversify as many organisations recruit to meet the needs of social housing. The diversification of roles has demonstrated the need to tailor housing services to meet the evolving socio-economic needs of social housing tenants. To manage current and future needs, it is therefore vital that incoming staff are knowledgeable, trained, and competent in their delivery of services to complex cases in a fast-pacing sector.

The Apprenticeship route will allow learners the opportunity to gain insight into the day-to-day working in the Housing sector, supporting the role of the Housing Officer. A Housing Officer is often the first contact that a member of the public or tenant will have.

To find out more about the course and how to apply – please see link here:

To find out about why working in Housing is a great career, watch and listen to Deborah Wooderson, Habinteg Housing Association Director, talk about her experiences of working in Housing here:

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