#Futures50: Making Housing a more attractive career destination

CIH Futures
Oct 21 · 3 min read

Hello #FuturesFam! This week we’ve got a belter from Patricia Roberts, Service Manager - Older Persons at Aspire Housing.

It’s important we speak to people considering career options, either at the start of their career or mid-career and considering a switch, to showcase what a great opportunity working in Housing is. It’s great to hear Patricia’s views on how we should go to people to shout about housing as a career option and not wait for them to come to us!

We certainly couldn’t agree more #FuturesFam, be sure to let us know what you think!

You can follow Trish on Twitter — @TrishAtAspire

“housing isn’t for me, I don’t know anything about tenancy management”

I’m forever hearing people say, “housing isn’t for me, I don’t know anything about tenancy management”. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t housing about being brilliant with people? Surely you can learn the rest. There are 22,000 people who have lost their job at Thomas Cook. So that’s 22,000 people in the job market who all have excellent customer care skills. How can we attract them before Virgin, Jet2 or Ryanair snatch them?

We talk a lot about the need to build more homes, but has anyone stopped to think about how we will build our workforce? How do we set out attractive career paths and share with everyone how exciting housing can be if you give it a chance?

Where does the career in housing start and end? I work in housing and I wouldn’t know where to look for top housing roles other than to search housing provider websites or look in sector publications such as Inside Housing. Why do we make things so difficult for ourselves?

I didn’t plan to work in housing; I wanted to be a police officer. It was only my tutor at university who suggested I undertook some volunteering at a homeless shelter that I came to realise I was a supporter not an enforcer!

I have a young apprentice who wants to work in housing but doesn’t know where. She has realised that housing can be an exciting and rewarding sector to work in, but often people already need to be on the inside to discover this. We as leaders need to nurture this interest and help them navigate what can sometimes be an unclear career path.

In my role I have been able to help her with this and facilitated taster sessions within other areas of the business. I wonder how many apprentices with similar interests have gone to work in other sectors because they didn’t get similar opportunities.

My observation is that as a sector we wait for people to come to us and wonder why they don’t. How can we unite and collaborate to articulate what a career in housing can offer? To quote my Chief Exec, Sinéad Butters,

“how can we make it sexy?”

Perhaps we all need to invest a little time in guiding those who may be struggling with a career choice and helping them to find their career destination.

By working together, we can help build the future of housing — it’s more than just bricks and mortar.

CIH Futures

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The housing sector needs professionals. Whoever they are, wherever they are and we’ll drive to create, develop and support them.

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