The Bristol Housing Partnership (BHP) Academy is a training and employment scheme aimed at attracting people to learn about housing development. Over 100 people applied to join the academy and here we speak to our successful Trainee Project Manager, Max Dilke, to see how he’s been getting on in his role and what he’s been learning. Max is taking part in a structured two-year programme to gain experience in all areas of the development team. Max’s addition to the team continues Yarlington’s commitment to building 500 homes in Bristol and investing in local talent. Currently 202 homes are already built or under development and a further 418 homes are under negotiation on sites across the city.
BHP is a group of 14 housing associations, including Yarlington, working with Bristol City Council to reduce homelessness, improve local communities and build the homes Bristol needs. £100,000 has been invested by BHP and Bristol City Council into the new academy to ensure the right skills in development roles continue to be created to help solve the housing crisis.
Tell us about your role?
I am a Trainee Project Manager within the development department. The position enables me to learn and have wide exposure to the different functions within development such as construction, new business and sales. One day a week I also attend an instructor led training course surrounded by a handful of individuals who have just started similar roles within the Bristol Housing Partnership Academy.
How did you get the position?
Through an assessment day where hopefuls had various group activities, tasks and interviews.
Describe a typical day
There isn’t a typical day. One day I could be doing handovers of completed plots with the construction project manager and the next attending a meeting with sales and marketing identifying who the target audience is for a new Bristol scheme.
What do you enjoy most about it?
I really enjoy the variety in my role, don’t get me wrong I am often aware that I have so much to learn, however this motivates me.
What advice would you give to someone looking to break into this career?
Stay curious. Ask if you are not sure. If you’re able to obtain work experience with a housing association learn as much as you can by asking people if they need any support on what they’re working on.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I will have a greater depth of knowledge and understanding having worked on a variety of different schemes at a variety of different stages. I’ll also have had the opportunity to manage my own schemes and so I see myself as being able to share best practice and experience with reports as their line manager.
And just for fun:
Who makes the best tea?
Out after work or tucked up in bed?
In winter it’s a binge a series in bed but in summer I’m out and about.