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Careers in housing: Jacqui Cockburn, Berwickshire Housing Association

Jacqui Cockburn's shares her career journey during #ScotsCareerWeek! Starting as an apprentice, she's now the Compliance Manager at Berwickshire Housing Association.

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By Jacqui Cockburn, Compliance Manager at Berwickshire Housing Association

I had been travelling the world for a year, came home with no money and really had to take the first job I was offered, which I wasn’t enjoying! I saw an advert for a Modern Apprentice at BHA so applied for it. I hadn’t ever thought about a job in housing before that, although I did know two or three people who worked at BHA and knew they enjoyed it.

I was offered a two year apprenticeship and with that I gained two Business and Administration qualifications and was also given the Superior Performance in the Workplace award at my college graduation.

Around half way through the second year of my apprenticeship a job came up in the Repairs Department – I applied and got the job! That was 11 years ago.

I’ve had a few roles during my time at BHA and gained a lot of valuable knowledge, experience and qualifications over the years. My current role as Compliance Manager is high pressure, adhering to strict legislations and deadlines and is a constant learning curve - but at its heart compliance is about keeping people safe which is a huge motivator for me. I also like the satisfaction of reporting 100% compliance.

When you speak to the majority of people who work in housing, they likely landed in the job rather than it be their “this is what I want to be when I grow up” but there are so many opportunities in housing to progress, learn new skills and gain qualifications. Most of all, it is very rewarding and enables you to give back to your community and really feel like you’re making a difference to people’s lives.

Launched as part of Scottish Careers Week, the ‘Your Career in Housing’ website has been created to provide young people with the skills and opportunities needed to get into a meaningful career and, in doing so, help tackle the housing crisis.
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