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Delivering a Better Tomorrow for the Housing Sector in Wales

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This article was submitted by GWLAD.

‘A Prosperous Wales’ is one of the main goals of Well-being Future Generations Act, which has been the driving force behind a recent partnership between Coastal Housing and the University of Wales Trinity St David to design an impactful professional programme which will equip established and aspiring housing professional with the skills and knowledge to develop their careers and make a real difference within the Housing Sector.

Through the GWLAD project (Growing Workforces Through Learning and Development) – a project run by the University’s Wales Institute for Work-Based Learning – a programme of study was created to develop Coastal Housing’s workforce by developing, designing and delivering a programme to meet their needs. This 12 month programme, which leads to the achievement of a Certificate in Higher Education or a Post Graduate Diploma, is a great example of working together to create more prosperous Wales, by ensuring the programme meets the needs of a challenging and dynamic growth sector.

Sam Morgan who has been Coastal Housing’s lead for the programme said:

“We have a passionate workforce, who work incredibly hard to deliver great services to our tenants.  This educational programme will create further capability in our teams, enabling them to adapt, evolve and continue to make a sustained difference to the communities we serve.”

We embarked on this journey because we want to equip front line staff with a holistic understanding of the role of social housing in the wider context.  In doing so we seek to support staff in connecting with the wider public services/ third sector agenda, so as to foster improved partnership working.  We believe that a joined up approach to service delivery will enhance the lives of our tenants and the communities we serve.

We also want to support individual growth and encourage people to become lifelong learners, hungry for the next development opportunity.  We are an organisation that works hard to grow capability and deliver on purpose.

It is early days for our staff, but the initial feedback has been very positive.

Louisa James, Housing officer said:

“Although I have worked in housing for 5 years, I have never learned the fundamental elements that make up social housing and to have that underlying knowledge can only support me to do a better job and subsequently help the tenants within my support role”.

Staff have also commented on “how helpful the lecturers have been and how this has made a huge difference to feeling motivated about the course” Tracey John, Housing Manager.

There are of course wider benefits for the local economy as this qualification is open for all Housing providers to tap into.  Arguably, there has been a shortage of such offerings in West Wales, with students having to travel to Cardiff to undertake similar programmes of study.  Having this provision in West Wales will encourage people to develop a career in Housing and will increase the level of skills and talent within the sector as a whole.

Coastal Housing Group currently has 28 staff studying on the programme which consists of 4 modules.

Nick Samuel, a Lecturer involved in this collaboration explained:

“It is so refreshing to work with an organisation that truly values its employees and has the vision to invest time and money in their development, to benefit both the organisation and its employees. Our collaboration will deliver a real difference for Coastal Housing’s staff and service users. If other Social Housing organisations sign up to this programme, we will see a significant positive change in the Social Housing sector within South Wales and beyond”.

The GWLAD project and its various courses aim to deliver a better tomorrow for the people of Wales within the Well-being Future Generations Act. Various courses such as Leadership, Mentoring and Coaching, Mindfulness in the Workplace, Bilingualism in the Workplace and Sustainability all aim to create a prosperous, resilient and healthier Wales; a more equal Wales with cohesive communities and a vibrant culture, but at all times making a positive contribution to an overall global well-being.

GWLAD led by WIWBL is supported by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government. This project has up-to 70% funding available to help businesses and not-for-profit organisations in South West Wales to also work towards the Well-being of Future Generations Act. This funding can make a significant difference to staff skills and organisational performance, however this funding is only available for a limited time Contact GWLAD today for further information. Start making a difference to your workforce and work towards more prosperous, resilient, healthier nation. A country with cohesive communities and a vibrant culture.

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Over the past 6 years, Rachel has been working specifically within the digital marketing space and has worked with some of the country’s top brands. During this time, Rachel was a key attribute to the success of our sister product, Recruitment Buzz, which has firmly established itself as one of the leading publications within the Recruitment sector. Drawing on her knowledge and experience, Rachel has developed a genuine understanding of how content can engage and compel an audience.

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