In celebrating this, we asked our Graduate Apprentice Liam and our Modern Apprentice Josh to write about their experiences.
Liam McBride – Graduate Finance Apprentice
I started my Master of Accountancy Graduate apprenticeship just under two years ago and this was my first position within a Housing Association. During this time, I have been involved in a number of different projects that have greatly increased my knowledge of what a Housing Association does.
When I started at Cloch, I worked with members of staff from every department to help me get an understanding of what each department in the organisation were responsible for.
In my role, my time is split between working within the office and working on my university degree, this makes my role unique as it must continue to change to meet the needs of my university course. When I first started, I was mainly working on reactive day to day tasks which gave me a better understanding of the operating system processes and how what I was inputting on the system linked with other departments. I have now progressed on to completing tasks for the Management Accounts. One of the challenging aspects of my role is trying to tie up the work I do within the organisation with the subjects I am learning in university, however, although this is challenging it has been hugely beneficial in helping me understand some of the more difficult aspects of some subjects.
Working in Cloch has highlighted the difference between working for a charity and a private organisation, the priority within a Housing Association is to provide the best possible service to the tenants and owners while staying within budget, however, with a private organisation the priority is to maximise profit.
As this is my first role in a Housing Association this has been my first experience of working with tenants and owners. I have had the opportunity to speak with tenants and owners both over the phone and in person. This has given me a much better understanding of the challenges that they are facing and has encouraged me to find ways that we can make things easier where possible for them.
Josh Garner - IT Modern Apprentice
Before joining cloch I had just finished high school and during the summer I decided to enrol in the Inverclyde Council’s recruit process, this was a 6 weeklong programme and is based off the apprentice tv show which focuses on presentation skills, marketing and developing for the workplace and the winner would be awarded an apprenticeship offer.
Various companies visited and did sessions about their organisation, one of them was Cloch. I then went on to win the recruit as the top candidate and was offered a job.
Before starting at Cloch I had little to no knowledge of Housing Associations and what they do, I did not realise the impact they have on local communities and the amount of difference even a small Association can do.
My role in Cloch is working within our IT department as a modern apprentice in IT and telecommunications, being a background department, I didn’t think I would see much of what our frontline staff do; I was wrong, whether that be assisting a staff member with an IT issue or generally about the office, I am always seeing or noticing things Cloch does that improve the business and ultimately the tenants.
Our IT department are in a service agreement with Oaktree Housing Association to provide IT services. Being a modern apprentice, I have found this extremely beneficial to not just my learning on the diploma I am working towards, but my overall knowledge on social housing.
Thanks to all this, I feel proud to be working in a Registered Social Landlord as I have seen first-hand the great work we do not just for the tenants, but for the community.