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Apprentice case study: Alix Edwards, Fairfield Housing Co-operative

Scottish Apprenticeship Week focus.

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Alix Edwards, 21, wanted to find a job that she enjoyed and didn’t want to be pressured down a career path by her school. After various searches online, she discovered apprenticeships and managed to secure one in Housing Management at Fairfield Housing Co-operative.

“I had never considered doing an apprenticeship, just because we weren’t given any information on them at school so they weren’t viewed as an option.”

Although she didn’t have a lot of knowledge on housing or apprenticeships, she thought that housing would be an interesting sector to gain experience in.

Alix explained that her apprenticeship incorporates working with several members of staff, in both housing management and maintenance. She said:

“The best part of my apprenticeship is getting to earn money at the same time as learning. I’m only a couple of months into my apprenticeship, and I’m already learning so much. By the time I am further on, I hope to be able to offer an employer experience in housing and also excellent social skills, which will benefit me in any job.”

Alix recognises that she brings a great deal to the organisation, such as team working, determination, the ability to learn new skills and absorb information quickly and, importantly, she brings a fresh pair of eyes to old ideas and methods.

Alix said that her biggest achievement is learning all the different procedures involved in housing whilst simultaneously keeping on track with her studies.

Susan Bell, Corporate Manager at Fairfield Housing, said:

“Alix brings a buzz to the office. It has been great having a young apprentice with such enthusiasm. I have also noticed that she will challenge decisions about processes which have been in place for a while. She will ask why it is done that way and looks at alternative and more efficient ways. This has brought some fresh ideas to the organisation which has been really positive.”

Susan Bell added:

“Fairfield recognised the increasing gap of skilled professionals within the sector, and the main reason for taking on an apprentice was to provide a young person with a fantastic opportunity to gain a career in housing.”