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Grow Our Own: Wales & West Housing’s initiative to kickstart careers in housing

Since its inception in May 2021, Wales & West Housing’s Grow Our Own programme has expanded at an exciting pace. Offering a range of opportunities from graduate schemes, apprenticeships and work placements, the Grow Our Own programme aims to give trainees an excellent grounding in the housing sector. Trainees are provided a bespoke suite of training while gaining experience in their full time positions. This ranges from specific technical skill development to building trainees’ understanding of the housing sector and the multitude of different roles and work undertaken by the organisation. At the end of the trainee Programme candidates will be fully prepared for the next step in their career, whether Wales & West Housing, or elsewhere. Wales & West Housing recently recruited their tenth trainee into the Property Services department joining existing trainees already working in the Development, ICT, Data and Health and Safety teams.

Luke Morris is a Trainee Development Project Officer on the Grow Our Own programme.

“The original job advertisement had lots of information which clearly showed what the comprehensive training programme entailed. It mentioned that the program is split up into the first and second year and explored the various ways in which I could learn within the company, combined with experiencing different aspects of the job to fully prepare me for when I complete the trainee role. The amount of thought and detail put into the Grow Our Own scheme showed me that Wales & West Housing really care about developing my skills and ensuring I have all the equipment necessary for a successful career.”

“I have a range of improvement projects which I am working on alongside my fellow Trainee Development Project Officers. Typically I will concentrate on a couple of projects per day, whilst also shadowing Development Officers in the North Wales team to get valuable first-hand experience on the development process. Furthermore, I try to balance my own learning – Wales and West have great resources for this, such as online courses and webinars, which have been really beneficial for expanding my knowledge and furthering my development.”

“Ever since joining [Wales & West Housing], everyone I’ve spoken to has been really friendly and helpful. Everybody is so open and has been keen to lend a helping hand or words of advice. I’ve really enjoyed building relationships with people throughout the business and look forward to developing them further in the future.”

“I would definitely recommend the Grow Our Own programme to others. I feel that it’s been a great starting point my career, as I have been allowed to build my knowledge and gradually increase my level of responsibility throughout the course. Furthermore, I have a great support network so that if I do have any issues, I know exactly where to go.”

Carly Hodson, Career Development Manager at Wales and West Housing said:

“I am so excited to be managing the ‘Grow Our Own’ programme. I have worked for the Wales & West Housing Group for 15 years and when I think back over my career, the best bits have been when I have had an opportunity to see and experience for myself the difference we make as an organisation, those moments that really touch your heart and stay with you forever.”

“Working in the Housing sector is so much more than a job – it’s a chance to make a real difference to others. I hope that the Grow Our Own programme will help to promote to other young people why a career in housing should be a career of choice.”

To find out more about the programme visit: