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College students work towards improving local homes with Osborne

West Herts College students, Isla Barnard and Owen Hedger, have been fortunate enough to be placed with Osborne, on a GAP experience supporting the maintenance of all Dacorum Borough Council homes.

The placement began when representatives of Osborne visited the College to provide and introduction to the industry talk to a group of students. Following a successful presentation, Osborne and the College’s GAP department, who work to arrange work experience opportunities for all College students, set out to create job specifications for relevant placements open to West Herts College students.

Osborne held an afternoon of interviews for students to apply for positions, but also gain confidence and feedback in an interview environment. As part of these interviews, the panel also offered feedback on their CVs from an employer’s point of view. Two students, Isla and Owen, were offered the position following successful interviews and are now with Osborne every Tuesday for 12 weeks.

Isla and Owen have spent time with Osborne’s trades operatives who are front line staff delivering a reactive maintenance service to Dacorum Borough Council Housing Tenants. Isla and Owen are also learning to understand the importance of customer experience, health and safety and safeguarding policies which are all vital to working in Social Housing and Construction.

 

The students will spend time with Repairs Supervisors, Building Surveyors and Site Managers to gain greater understanding of the roles which they could progress to in their line of work. For the last few weeks they will then decide which role they would like to focus on for the end of their placement.

On completion of their GAP experiences, the students will receive a certificate and formal reference from Osborne. When asked about how Isla and Owen were getting on, the Osborne team said ‘Isla and Owen have already impressed us with their dedication to gain hands on experience which compliments their college courses and we look forward to working with them over the duration of the programme.’

Isla and Owen are very much enjoying their time at Osborne and benefitting from working in a real life environment. Isla said ‘It’s a good opportunity to get real life experience and the potential to get an apprenticeship down the line, working with people in their homes is great experience as it puts you in a real job situation.’ Owen was pleased with the project so far saying ‘I’m working with Osborne and that’s great for my CV, but I’m also picking up customer service and job management skills.’

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