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Watford introduces new housing apprenticeships

Watford Borough Council has marked National Apprenticeship Week (5 – 9 March) by announcing its new housing apprenticeship scheme, developed in partnership with Watford-based West Herts College.

The new scheme – created in conjunction with the Chartered Institute of Housing - came about as a result of Watford’s preparations for a change in law, which will see councils across the country increasing their support to prevent homelessness from 1 April this year.

Cllr Stephen Johnson, Portfolio Holder for Housing, explained: “Big changes are happening in housing, so we’ve grasped this as a unique opportunity to examine how we deliver this crucial service in Watford. We realised every local authority across the country would be out recruiting housing staff at the same time, so competition for experienced professionals would be high.

“So, working with our local college, we looked at how we can create roles that would be suitable for people interested in starting a career in housing, coupled with clear career progression routes. This gives us a fantastic chance to not only grow our own talent, but provide people with a new and rewarding opportunity.”

Louise Thurston, Associate Director of Employer Engagement at West Herts College, said: “Watford Borough Council is definitely ahead of the game in introducing this apprenticeship, which will provide a modern professional programme for staff developing their career in social housing.”

Watford is currently recruiting its first two Housing Apprentices, who will be developed into housing professionals over 18 months. While earning a wage, they will receive tailored training at West Herts College coupled with real world experience at the council.

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