Ore Valley Housing Association has taken part in the Modern Apprenticeship scheme for the second time in three years and is committed to investing in young people, acknowledging their role in the future of the housing sector.

During a two-year Modern Apprenticeship, the young person works towards a qualification whilst earning a wage, sometimes for the first time.

Ore Valley Housing Association, the parent company within a group structure, develops and manages housing in Fife, which are designed to a high standard to meet local housing needs. It also plays an active part in the Fife Housing Association Alliance (FHAA). As at 31 March 2015, Ore Valley Housing  Association owned and managed 659 social rented housing properties and 6 retail units. Additionally, Ore Valley HA is developing a Fife Community Wind project and it is the parent company of CHAP Ltd., which is currently developing the Cardenden Heat and Power project. The Association is also the parent company of Fife HARCA Ltd., which owns and manages Lochgelly Miners Institute and Ore Valley Business Centre, as well as being the parent company of Ore Valley Enterprises Ltd., which is a registered private landlord providing 27 properties in Lochore for the mid-market rent sector.

Claire King, aged 18, is in her first year of an Enterprise Apprenticeship, which involves learning skills in a business environment. She said:

“I chose to go ahead with an apprenticeship as it’s an opportunity for someone who doesn’t have much experience to achieve a qualification along with the opportunity to flourish and grow with confidence. At the same time, you can gain knowledge and skills within a working environment – I think it is the best way to initially approach the world of working.

“Besides the obvious qualification and experience that I am gaining through my apprenticeship, for me, the best part has been the support and different training I have received. I have not been thrown in the deep end, and my colleagues are understanding of my learning process and are happy to answer any queries that I may have.

“While I am still unsure about future career plans, I do hope, however, that I will be settled in a career which I enjoy getting up for in the morning. My main goal at the moment is to get as much experience as possible and, ultimately, be happy with what I am doing.”

Kerry McLeod, Depute CEO of the Ore Valley Group, said:

“At Ore Valley, we appreciate that equality; diversity and talent are high priorities for us.  The benefits of offering young people this opportunity is threefold; it helps the young person realise and fulfil their potential; assists them in learning valuable skills and helps them transition into the world of work whilst earning a wage. For the Association, the young person’s enthusiasm, innovative thinking and commitment helps us in our work with our communities to provide good quality housing and community services.  For the housing sector we are training up and shaping young people now, to become innovative thinkers and leaders that will keep the sector fresh and moving forward.”

Claire has also been successful in securing a place in the second year of The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations’ (SFHA) Apprentice Challenge, which will see 22 young people from housing associations and co-operatives across Scotland take on a two-day challenge during the SFHA’s annual conference. They will work in teams to devise strategies, which could be implemented by social landlords to help tackle and raise awareness about common problems amongst tenants.  The challenge is being launched at the start of the Scottish Apprenticeship Week (May 18-22) by   Housing Minister Margaret Burgess. The Apprentice Challenge aims to further consolidate the skills of the apprentices and highlight the important role that apprenticeships play as a vital first step on the career ladder, whilst equipping the young people with new skills and knowledge which they can transfer to their working environment and allows them a chance to network with sector leaders and help build their confidence.