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Get Into Housing: mentoring and skills development for the over 25s

Hassan Ryhawi

Hassan joined Wales & West Housing’s Human Resources team on a paid fixed term placement through the Get Into Housing initiative which offers on-the-job experience, mentoring and skills development for over-25s.

“I’d been studying for a Degree in Business when my family fled Syria due to conflict. My parents had hoped I could complete the course before leaving but it became too dangerous for us to stay any longer. Leaving our lives behind, we were moved through several countries seeking safety before settling in Wales in 2016.

“My previous qualifications and certificates were enough to secure my place on a business course at university where I specialised in International Human Resources. Due to the pandemic, there were very few opportunities to gain more experience at the time, so I signed up with Cardiff Community Housing Association and Get Into Housing.

“The Get Into Housing initiative helps people like me to gain skills, add to their CV and explore a career in housing through a paid fixed-term placement which includes mentoring, support, and on-the-job experience in a range of areas.

“I was about to graduate when I received an email to say Wales & West Housing had a placement suitable for me. It was a three-month fixed-term position within their Human Resources team. The timing was perfect, so I applied with my CV and information about my work experience.

“I received an invitation to an interview a few days later and was welcomed into the team, provided equipment, and received a full induction into the organisation like any other employee. My first task was to collect outstanding timesheets. It felt great to be diving straight into work.

“While working at Wales & West Housing I’ve developed administration, communication, and time management skills. I’ve been able to put into practice the topics I covered at university. I’ve learnt about interviews and recruitment and undertaken workshops that have shown me new ways of understanding team members.

“I’ve loved my placement with Wales & West Housing. I really appreciate the opportunities I’ve been given to get real, practical work experience. I hope to continue my career working in Human Resources and if there is ever an opportunity to work with Wales & West Housing in the future, I would absolutely consider applying for it.”


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