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Engage and inspire the next generation of housing leaders

Written by our Event Co-ordinator and Routes to Housing project lead Mollie Stephen, this blog shares valuable insights into the crucial role young talent plays in shaping the housing sector's future.

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By Mollie Stephen, SFHA Events Co-ordinator 

Young people are the future leaders and innovators of the housing sector and there are so many benefits to having them as part of your workforce. They bring new ideas and a fresh perspective, and it really is a chance to develop young talent for long term investment in your organisation and sector.  

Back in April, SFHA hosted a webinar looking at how to attract young talent to the housing sector. The webinar boasted an expert panel with speakers from organisations including Kingdom Housing Association, Developing the Young Workforce; Brightwork; Wheatley Group and Skills Development Scotland.  

The webinar uncovered that timing really is crucial when planning your engagement with schools and young people and the importance of providing them with the knowledge and good work of what the sector does.  

Members were also encouraged to reach out to their local Skills Development Scotland and Developing the Young Workforce if they haven’t already and to also make use of campaigns such as Scottish Apprenticeship Week, Scottish Careers Week and social media. 

Nicholas Carroll, Senior Programme Executive of Developing the Young Workforce has been working closely with the sector on various initiatives to get young people into work. He said: “The volume and level of engagement at this event displays that there is a real appetite to identify and nurture young talent in the sector across the country and we look forward now to working with partners and stakeholders to develop creative and impactful ways to support and guide young people towards a career in housing.” 

Looking to other sectors for advice Shan Saba, Director of Brightwork which is one of Scotland’s leading recruitment agencies, said ensure that job adverts and recruitment processes are all proportionate to the role as this will engage young people. Use “personas” of young people you already employ to draw out their experiences in your organisation. 

Jonathan Moyes, Communications Officer at Link Group, who attended the webinar said: “The webinar about Attracting Young Talent to consider a career in housing brought together various sectors engagingly. I enjoyed learning and listening to the young people who attended share their stories and experiences about how their careers in housing began and what they are looking for when housing organisations are advertising roles. Bridging the generations is vital because we can all learn from each other. Therefore, I am pleased that the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations has begun a conversation about how housing can work collectively to make the sector as attractive as possible to young people so it can secure the best possible talent and provide employment for future generations. I look forward to seeing where this webinar leads and hope there will be future webinars considering this topic.”  

The webinar only lasted an hour and generated lots of discussion and so we want to continue the conversation by launching our collaborative careers network in May. The network will discuss all things careers in housing and look at exciting initiatives our members can get involved in to engage and increase young talent in the sector. You can book here.  

We also encourage those to consider pledging to Home - Young Person's Guarantee - DYW - Scotland: an outward and visible commitment that you as an employer are committed to developing young people. 

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