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National Apprenticeship Week 2019: Shaun’s story

National Apprenticeship Week 2019: Shaun’s story

Hello, my name is Shaun and I’m a previous apprentice of Together Housing, now a full time employee. I currently work as a Business Innovation Partner for Together Housing Group, but my experience with Together started back in 2010 when I applied for a (then) Keychoice Apprenticeship – I attended an interview and got a call back offering me the job on the same day at 4:10pm. I remember it so vividly!

As an apprentice, I processed housing applications and helped people looking for a home, or who were homeless, with navigating the application and bidding process. Now, working in Business Innovation, I support the delivery of a number of improvement and change projects across the group, such as improving delivery of our information and achieving value for money in our systems and processes.

Early on in my career, it was the level of responsibility and the service we provided to customers that gave me pride in my work. The support from my manager and mentors was also great, not only did they help me to build myself professionally, but they helped me to grow my personal skills and attitudes as well.

To this day, I still enjoy the same level of support from managers and have been provided a real opportunity to shape our future for our staff, but more importantly, for our customers too. My work and the work of Together Housing gives me a real sense of pride and reward.

Now, I work 37 hours a week with flexibility, and even as an apprentice I had this perk too. Due to my length of service, I also get a whopping 35 days leave a year!

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When I first applied for my apprenticeship, I was working towards a Level 2 Business Administration Qualification. Since then, with the support and funding of Together Housing, I’ve gone on to achieve a further three qualifications at Level 3 and attended numerous training courses and events, including some giving me the opportunity to visit London.

As an apprentice, the most challenging part was learning about housing, the social sector and all of the service areas we’re responsible for. There’s so much to do! I was 17 at the time and there was a lot of information to get to grips with, but I got there.

Leaving school and transitioning into work life was great. School wasn’t the best setting for me, I like to do, see and hear, so sitting behind a desk didn’t cut it. At work, yes I may be at my desk writing a report or drafting a project plan, but it’s work I enjoy doing and have learnt how to do by doing, failing and learning from that.

Work is much more grown up too, you’re trusted to get on with your work and you don’t have to wear a blazer over a nylon jumper, or a shirt in the middle of summer with a clip on tie!

From my apprenticeship, I learnt the essential business administration duties, as well as professional behaviours and styles of communicating. However, the real learning came from developing skills on the job, dealing with real life customer enquiries and issues, understanding the company’s policies and procedures and delivering a good service.

When I was 17 years old, I was really naive and wanted to be a manager by the age of 25, without full appreciation of what management was. In the end, I am managing 5 staff at the age of 24, so my career goals were achieved. For me, my future at Together Housing is bright, I want to carry on growing in my role, but who knows what the future will bring!

Being an apprentice at Together Housing didn’t just provide me with a qualification and a job, it was a springboard to a fulfilling and genuinely rewarding career with an employer I am proud to work for.

Keep an eye on the website for upcoming apprenticeship days. We’ll be announcing further details soon on the Together Housing Careers page and on our social media pages. In the meantime have a look at our recruitment site here, where you will find all our current vacancies. 

 

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