Marc sets his sights on apprentice prize

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A teenager from Carnoustie is set to take part in a national competition for housing apprentices.

Marc Docherty (19) is taking part in the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations’ (SFHA) Apprentice Challenge.

The challenge sees 19 young people from SFHA member housing associations and co-operatives from across Scotland taking part in the competition. They have created video diaries of their apprenticeships which will be presented at the SFHA’s annual conference on June 1 and 2.

This is the third year of the federation’s award-winning challenge which aims to further consolidate the skills of the Modern Apprentices and highlight the role that apprenticeships play as a vital first step on the career ladder as well the importance of nurturing young workers in the housing sector.

Marc is a Customer Service Adviser apprentice at Angus Housing Association and works in the Association’s office in Arbroath. He said: “I chose to do this apprenticeship as I had previously completed an apprenticeship with Angus Council and enjoyed the experience. Upon seeing the advertised post, I was keen to secure it as I knew it would be a great experience working and learning.

“Throughout the apprenticeship, I have enjoyed the challenge of learning new things.

“I plan to complete my apprenticeship and hope to secure a full time job with Angus Housing Association.

Bruce Forbes, Director, Angus Housing Association added: “We have been taking on young people for over 20 years going back to the Skillseeker Programme. We only commit to an apprentice if there is a realistic prospect and incentive of a full time job at the end of their apprenticeship.

“This has worked well over the years and we are very proud of the people we have nurtured who have gone on to a successful career in Housing. Some are still with us and others have left to further their careers but I know that they started out with a good introduction to the ethos of a commitment to quality public services.

“Already, we have seen from Marc that he has the potential, personality and commitment to have a successful career and the SFHA apprentice challenge will help him along this road.”

The conference will also see the launch of an ambitious national plan for apprenticeships by the SFHA and Skills Development Scotland (SDS).

The aim of the plan is to greatly increase the amount of Modern Apprentices in housing associations and co-operatives. More young people across Scotland’s communities will be given the opportunity to gain vital skills and experience, which will, in turn, help to future-proof the social housing sector by training the housing professionals of the future.

The plan, which the SFHA will develop with SDS, will promote and raise awareness of the Modern Apprenticeship programme, career opportunities and professional development.

The plan’s key outcomes will be to: ensure a commitment from social landlords to recruiting and retaining the sector’s future workforce; increase the number of social landlords that provide modern apprenticeships; increase the number of apprentices within the social housing sector; and; increase the range and type of apprenticeship which the social housing sector is able to offer.