Find out how to make the most of apprenticeships. Hear what others are doing, the successes and achievements as well as the pitfalls to avoid. Learn how to navigate the funding.

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    With the sector facing chronic skills shortages, difficulty recruiting and retaining staff alongside preparing for professionalism – could apprenticeships be part of the solution?

    If you’ve ever run an apprenticeship programme, or considered one, you’ll know there’s a lot to think about. It can seem daunting and that’s why HQN has put together this practical workshop – to talk you through the process and what’s involved so you can get the most out of the initiative.

    Find out how to access government funding and how to set up a programme in-house.

    Explore how an apprenticeship programme could help you plan for the workforce for the future as and attract new talent into the sector.

    Learn how to design your programme(s) to fit the needs of your organisation whilst meeting wider strategic goals such as improving workplace diversity or supporting local employment initiatives.

    Hear about the benefits of having apprentices as well as other options like graduate training programmes like the GEM programme which offers a wide range of jobs and intensive learning experiences in the housing sector across the country as well as the chance to gain a CIH level 4 qualification and gain the professional qualifications that your organisation will need for the future.

    Hear from experts such as Anna Morrison from Amazing Apprenticeships, hear from practitioners and most importantly hear directly from apprentices who have been through a programme. They’ll share their experiences with you.

    Go away with plenty of practical tips to help you make the most of the opportunities on offer and develop your business case for setting up or expanding an apprenticeship scheme in your workplace.

    What will be covered:

    • An overview of how apprenticeships work and how to access government funding
    • What apprenticeships can provide and what you need to do to get the most out of the programme
    • The range of jobs you can offer under the apprenticeship scheme
    • The benefits for organisations
    • The benefits for young people and the communities you work in
    • Insight from social housing professionals running apprenticeship programmes
    • Experiences of apprentices who have been through the programme.

    Essential for:

    • Learning and development managers
    • Senior managers across the business
    • Community development managers
    • Employment support managers.
  • Our speakers

    Chloe Fletcher, HQN Director

    Chloe has worked in the social housing sector for over 25 years since her first role in housing management with JSS Pinnacle as a trainee housing officer. She completed a Masters in Housing with Professional Qualification at the London School of Economics in 1998 and then moved into housing policy, working on behalf of the London boroughs, initially for London Housing Unit and then London Councils. She joined the National Federation of ALMOs (NFA) in 2007 working with members, government officials and wider housing stakeholders to develop NFA policy and support the ALMO movement.  She has recently left her role as Policy Director at the NFA and joined HQN as Director, working across the business and bringing her knowledge and experience to the wider sector.

    Anna Morrison, Amazing Apprenticeships

    Anna Morrison CBE is the founder and Director of Amazing Apprenticeships, a progressive and forward-thinking organisation that works with government, schools and colleges, and many of the country’s leading employers to champion apprenticeships and technical education and inspire the next generation of apprentices.

    Amazing Apprenticeships has helped millions of students, teachers and families to navigate the complex world of apprenticeships through access to free resources that aim to inspire and inform individuals about their options, and to guide them on the next steps to take.

    Anna is a well-known figure in the education and skills sector and has spent the last 25 years raising awareness of the benefits of apprenticeships and helping to shape the vocational skills landscape.

    Her extensive and exemplary work with employers, training providers and policy makers has established her as a respected speaker on apprenticeships, and has seen her invited to support and contribute to countless research papers, legislative developments, media commentary, conferences and roundtables.

    Anna was awarded a CBE in the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours and an honorary Doctorate in 2021, both in recognition of her services to apprenticeships. She also received the Outstanding Contribution award at the 2022 Multicultural Apprenticeship Awards in recognition of her work to improve diversity and inclusion in apprenticeships.

    Tom Leon Grimes, Orbit

    Tom has held a successful and enjoyable career in housing for over 10 years, starting as an Apprentice Housing Assistant, aged 16. Tom has developed a vast understanding of housing through roles in front-line housing, data analysis, business improvement, project management and service development. Tom was awarded as the winner of the Housing’s Next Generation Competition 2022, run by the Housing Quality Network.

    Tom’s current role is with Orbit Housing, head-quartered in Coventry, with over 47,000 homes. As their Continuous Improvement Lead, he leads a programme of works to improve data insight, marketing and systems, to increase operational effectiveness, customer satisfaction and reduce the number of empty homes.

    Making a positive difference to customers’ lives, and providing much needed quality housing, is Tom’s reason for enjoying working in social housing and Tom is looking forward sharing his experiences as a former apprentice, to advocate for apprenticeships and boost skills our sector’s future workforce.

    Anthony O’Leary, ForHousing

    Anthony has worked in the social housing sector for the past 10 years. His first role in the sector was an apprentice caretaker at ForHousing. Since then, he’s remained with ForHousing but developed skills and gone onto become the Building Safety Co-ordinator. This involves overseeing all compliance within high-risk buildings, including high-rise / mid-rise buildings, also assisted living, and sheltered housing schemes.

    Anthony is a very driven person when it comes to education and learning, and upskilling is close to his heart. Improving his knowledge and safety skills is essential to ensuring tenants feel safe in their homes.

    The learning he received during his apprenticeship has helped him succeed into his role today and has been essential for the progression in his career.

    Nadia Saleh, Sheffield City Council

    Nadia has worked for Sheffield City Council since 1995 in various tenant / customer facing roles before working on and developing the Apprenticeship Programme within Housing.  In addition to managing the Apprenticeship Programme, her remit includes the development of staff through upskilling opportunities and workforce development. She is currently working on some exciting projects and major changes through the introduction of Regulator of Social Housing and the proposed competence and conduct standard for Housing Managers.

    Nadia also has extensive experience managing teams supporting customers who are vulnerable and with complex needs.  Nadia is passionate about supporting opportunities to achieve representation that reflect the communities in Sheffield.

    Peter Brown,  Sheffield City Council

    Peter has worked in the social housing sector for almost 30 years across several organisations big and small, urban and rural.  His experience covers a wide variety of topic areas, operational management, research, performance, strategy, and development.  For the past 20 years he has worked in Sheffield, formerly with the ALMO and now with the City Council.  Current areas of focus are around business planning, improvement, regulation, engagement, and housing employability.

    Dave Bramley Housing Professional Coach for the GEM Programme

    Dave fell into housing 40 years ago after failing to get a full-time job in teaching.  After spells working in housing management, and lettings he went on to work for The Rent Officer Service (a government agency) where he came full circle to work in L&D.  Dave worked in the Education team at CIH for twelve years, developing housing qualifications, accrediting and supporting centres and was part of the Housing Apprenticeship Trailblazer group.  He is now working for the GEM Programme, which attracts new graduates into the housing sector and supports those already in the sector and wanting to develop their career.  The GEM Programme consists of six GEM Shacks that take part in different parts of the UK and Ireland and includes the delivery of the CIH L4 Certificate in Housing, which is to become a requirement for those working in senior housing management positions.

    Sharon Conway-Thomas, Wolverhampton Homes

    Jasvin Kaur, Wolverhampton Homes

    Ravel Wallace, Wolverhampton Homes


  • Our programme

    10.30 Chair’s welcome and introduction

      • Chloe Fletcher, HQN Director

    10.35 Setting the scene

      • Anna Morrison, Amazing Apprenticeships

    11.05 Are apprenticeships the answer for the repairs service and creating a positive customer culture?

      • Sharon Conway-Thomas, Jasvin Kaur, Ravel Wallace, Wolverhampton Homes

    11.35 Break

    11.45 Next Gen panel – What do former apprentices think employers need to know

      • Tom Leon Grimes, Orbit, Anthony O’Leary, ForHousing

    12.15 What works for the housing management service and what are the current challenges?

      • Peter Brown and colleagues, Sheffield City Council

    12.45 Break

    12.55  Bringing Graduates into the social housing sector

      • Dave Bramley Housing Professional Coach for the GEM Programme

    1.25 Chair’s closing comments

    1.30 Close

  • Price and booking

    Bookings are closed for this event.

    If you experience any issues when submitting your booking, please email [email protected] with the name and date of the session along with the delegate name(s), email address(es) and job title(s) and we’ll process the booking for you.