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Bristol housing associations launch academy to tackle skills shortages

Bristol Housing Partnership (BHP), a group of 14 housing associations working with the Council to deliver more affordable homes in the city, has launched a pilot training and employment scheme aimed at attracting young people to choose a career in housing development.

The initiative, known as the BHP Academy, will offer a number of people the opportunity to train and work as affordable housing development officers over a period of 24 months. They will receive specialist training in the first year and will continue to learn while working within established development teams for the following 12 months. Each trainee officer will receive a salary of £23,000 pa during the two-year period.

The pilot scheme offers ten places on the programme and represents an investment by BHP and Bristol City Council of £100,000 in training alone. Seven of the available places are newly created roles, five of which will be recruited externally and two recruited internally by BHP members. The remainder three positions will be offered as internal training opportunities to BHP and BCC employees.

Sarah Maylor, Chair of the BHP, says: “A career in housing development can be incredibly fulfilling but, despite the many advantages it offers, our sector is still affected by skills shortages. There’s a particular lack of applicants with the right skills in development roles and housing associations are struggling to recruit experienced candidates.

“Our members are committed to building 2,500 new homes in Bristol alone over the next five years and, to do so, we need more skilled people – this is why we’ve decided to invest in ‘growing our own’ talent.

“The ideal candidates are university and sixth form college graduates, regardless of degree specialty – as we’re offering extensive training, our recruitment will focus more on attitude to learning, personal competence and enthusiasm.”

Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees says: “This is a fantastic opportunity for young people to gain valuable new skills and join a sector that offers clear career progression. At the same time they will be making a positive difference to local people’s lives, by helping to build more affordable homes in our city and region.

“I’m delighted that we are able to support this initiative, alongside a number of other training, skills and employment schemes we’re running to ensure that Bristol continues to thrive and attract investment.”

Yarlington is one of the BHP members recruiting for a Trainee Development Officer to join the team. For further details and to apply for the role please visit our careers page.

To see the other roles available through the BHP Academy, visit www.housing.org.uk/bhp-academy.