I started off as a Graphic Designer in Leeds and have had 16 roles since, working for eight different types of business over the last 30 years.
Gathering plenty of transferable skills along the way, I worked in Quality Assurance, Finance (Management Accounts and Financial Accounts), Audit, IT/IS, Change Management, Outsourcing, Retail (Visual Merchandiser and Customer Services), Careers and Employability.
I spent more than 20 years working in England, but my family brought me home to Wales. I initially planned to take some time out to spend time with my family and then move to China but, when I arrived back in Wales, things changed. Family suddenly mattered more to me than I’d ever realised, so I applied to Valleys to Coast to cover a Targeted Recruitment and Training position; which helped local people into jobs through the contractors that we used.
My desire to move to China diminished and the green grass of home appealed more, for the time being at least.
I then left after my contract ended, only to find myself applying for a position in Procurement back at Valleys to Coast, which sounded interesting at the time, especially as there were some challenges to overcome.
In 2016, a restructure took place with new roles in procurement on offer, which would have been a promotion. However, I looked at the list of new roles available and thought ‘you know what, I can do any of those’, so I applied for the Employability Skills Officer role, which I got!
The role has continued to evolve and change in line with business priorities. I work with colleagues, suppliers and customers looking for and creating opportunities that will benefit people in the communities in which they live.
I love learning new things and continue to learn something new every week. It is a changing and exciting sector. The thing that surprises me most about housing is that there are so many different and varied roles, specialist and general, with lots of really helpful people.
There are roles for all skill-sets, including those focused on the bricks and mortar or operational elements, and others focused on support services. Either way, the tenant is at the heart.
Dennise is Employability Skills Officer at Valleys to Coast