Celebrating National Apprenticeship Week 2024


This week we're celebrating #SkillsForLife as part of National Apprenticeship Week 2024, showcasing some of our fantastic apprentices here at FCHO. 

Take a look...

Our 40-year-old apprentice proves age is just a number

Craig joined us in 2023 as a Neighbourhood Care (Grounds) Apprentice.

At 40 years old, embarking on an apprenticeship is no easy feat, but Craig has smashed any myths and misconceptions about apprenticeships and is making great progress towards achieving a Level 2 apprenticeship in Horticulture.

Craig said: “I’ve worked in factories since leaving school and was getting rather restless. I needed a career change and I wanted to do something I enjoy. I’ve always loved being outside whether this is going fishing with my family or just cutting my lawn at home, so when an apprenticeship at FCHO came up in Grounds Maintenance – I thought, why not?

“Not only do I enjoy it, but I’m also gaining a qualification which will create better prospects for me and my family. Never did I think I’d be working towards an apprenticeship at 40 years old but I’m proud of myself for putting myself out there and going for it. I’m loving the skills I’m learning, the training I’m receiving and the fantastic environment I’m working in.

“My advice is this – you’re never too old and it’s not too late. If you want something – go for it! You never know unless you try.”

Craig Knox

Second apprenticeship for Tas

Tasnim is our newest apprentice, joining us five weeks ago in the role of Apprentice Neighbourhood Co-ordinator.

But, this isn’t her first rodeo! 24-year-old Tas already has a Level 3 in Business Admin. Now undertaking a Level 2 in Housing and Property Management with us, we caught up with her to find out more…

“I quickly learned that a traditional desk job wasn’t the right fit for me, so when I saw an Apprentice Neighbourhood Co-ordinator position come up with FCHO – it seemed perfect.” Tas said.

She added: “I have no previous experience in housing, but this apprenticeship will allow me to learn the necessary skills and experience to pursue a full-time career in the industry.”

“If you’re like me and struggle to learn by reading books or listening to lectures, I would totally recommend an apprenticeship. Practical learning, getting hands-on experience and earning a living at the same time is ideal, and I’m excited to see what the future holds.”

Tasnim Begum 1

Mike helps our next generation of apprentices

Making sure our apprentices get the support they need to flourish is something we’re hugely passionate about at FCHO. That’s why our Multiskilled Plumber, Mike (R), has been leading revision sessions offering support to our Property Care plumbing apprentices to brush up on their knowledge before their looming April exams!

The revision sessions are really valued by our apprentices who are all super keen to learn and develop their skills. 

Huge shout out to Mike who has gone out of his way to organise the sessions in his spare time, demonstrating his personal commitment to supporting our next generation of apprentices, and growing local talent in-house.

Property Care Mentor Session (L R) Ruhan Hussain, Illan Cooke, Will Meredith, Mike Findlow

Huma, Sara and Tanisha work towards their CIH Level 4

Huma, Sara and Tanisha have collectively worked with us for over 36 years!

Working in very different roles; they have one commonality – they’re all working towards a CIH Level 4 apprenticeship in Housing Management.

Sara, our Land and Acquisitions Officer (middle) has just received a distinction following her end-point assessment. Huma, one of our Income Collection Officers (left) will receive her grade any day, and Tanisha, our Customer Involvement Officer (right) will receive hers over the coming weeks.

Sara: “I chose to do an apprenticeship as I’ve always enjoyed learning. This course has allowed me to develop my knowledge and skills across a range of areas. It was challenging but has built up my resilience and gave me the confidence to apply for my current role in the Development team – something which I previously hadn’t felt confident enough to do.”

Huma: “I am a keen learner so was delighted to be able to embark on this apprenticeship and receive a formal qualification. Doing an apprenticeship while working full time hasn’t been easy, but the insight I’ve gained into housing as a profession, combined with the skills to provide strategic context to my work, has been invaluable. I’m looking forward to seeing what opportunities my newly acquired qualification brings!”

Tanisha: “Wow, has this apprenticeship challenged me? Definitely. Not just operationally but with things like project management, time management and adaptability. If you’re considering an apprenticeship – go for it! Embrace the challenge, take advantage of all the learning opportunities, stay proactive and most importantly – enjoy it! The confidence it will give you – not to mention the skills and knowledge gained – is so worth it.”

(L R) Huma Khalid, Sara Lightfoot, Tanisha Rigby 2

Fancy an amazing apprenticeship with FCHO? All our upcoming positions are advertised on our Vacancies page - so keep your eyes peeled!