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Apprenticeship week – Skills for Life

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The theme of National Apprenticeship Week 2023 is ‘Skills for Life’. To discuss how apprenticeships can build skills for life, we chatted with Hannah, our project management office administrator.

Hannah started her journey with us as an apprentice in our customer support team in 2013, won apprentice of the year in 2015 and has since successfully worked in various roles across the business.

She is a prime example of how apprenticeships can give you skills for life.

Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship?

I started working in a pub when I was 14. When I left school, I decided I didn’t want to go to uni, so I went full-time at the pub I was working at. But then I became a bit stuck and found there were limited opportunities.

Through someone who worked at Selwood Housing, I found out about the customer support apprenticeship they had on offer. I had been looking around for something like that, so I weighed up my options in terms of working full-time or starting an apprenticeship. Earning money whilst learning was a huge incentive, especially somewhere I could have a career and progress. It also offered me a more manageable lifestyle compared to working in hospitality.

Hannah Spratt, 2013

What drew you to apply for a customer support apprenticeship?

I guess a lot of the skills I had already been able to build up working in a pub. How to deal with customers, difficult situations, you know, I felt I had a lot of skills already.

So it was just a case of learning processes, the business and building my knowledge.

Do you believe your apprenticeship gave you 'Skills for Life?'

Working at a housing association opened up my view of the world. What you were talking to people about in customer support showed you a different side to everything and gave me the ability to be a bit more empathetic. This helped when applying for internal roles across the business, including within the neighbourhoods team, which involves supporting our customers.

I also had the opportunity of getting involved in different areas across the business, including invoicing, our garage letting process and scripting. This gave me so many opportunities to build on my skills, knowledge and experience.

Where I am now is so different to where I started, but having nine years of experience across the business has allowed me to use that knowledge to see things from a different point of view.

Would you recommend people consider an apprenticeship?

100%. I wish I could have found an apprenticeship straight out of school. I mean, I’m not that old, but when I was in sixth form it was more difficult to find opportunities like the ones on offer now.

Interested in finding out more about Selwood Housing apprenticeships?

Apprenticeships play a vital role in the development of our workforce and the future of our business.

We have several apprenticeship roles currently available for those who may be interested. Whether you know someone who is looking for a new challenge, or if you are considering taking on an apprenticeship yourself, you can find out more in our apprenticeships section.