TWO new apprentices have been finding their feet at Muir as the association helps them unlock exciting opportunities in housing.
William Cossins and Gill Roberts are settling into life at Muir’s Chester HQ, kick-starting their new careers after quickly becoming valued members of the housing services department.
The pair are undertaking an 18-month apprenticeship designed to give them an overview of the sector, while developing a host of new skills and working towards a Chartered Institute of Housing Level 2 Housing/Property Management Assistant Certificate.
“I am really enjoying it,” said 19-year-old William (right), a Liverpool FC fan who enjoys playing regular five-a-side games.
“People at Muir have been really welcoming and are happy to help me.”
Spending the first nine months of his apprenticeship in Muir’s busy Customer Service Team before moving into one of Muir’s housing teams for nine further months, William previously impressed Local Government officials by winning a competition for his understanding of the issues faced in today’s towns and cities.
“I presented an urban plan to councillors as part of a contest to redevelop an underperforming area,” William said.
“My plan involved providing more affordable housing and parks, and I also had to explain how the finances would be managed.
“I won the competition and now I’m really looking forward to working in housing.
“Already I have felt my confidence grow when speaking with people and helping them with a wide range of issues at Muir.
“I have also spent some time meeting residents in Muir communities and am learning a lot.
“Muir’s apprenticeship is a really good opportunity for me and I feel like I am having a great head-start to my career.”
Gill’s own journey into the housing sector has been partially inspired by the experience of having once found herself homeless for several months.
She says she values the chance to work with a charitable organisation such as Muir, and to help people feel happy in their homes.
“At one time I went through a period when I was struggling for accommodation and it drew my attention to how difficult it is to find when you aren’t working,” said Gill (right).
“Now I am enjoying helping other people and I am learning a lot of new things.”
The 47-year-old jokes that she could be Britain’s oldest apprentice after spending 20 years working in the oil industry, as well as four years in the mental health sector.
But Gill is proving that it’s never too late to make a career change and said: “It is great to have a new challenge.
“Being at Muir means you are making a difference to people’s lives while working in a friendly and welcoming environment.
“Doing an apprenticeship means I get to experience a number of areas of the business and shadow people in their roles, as well as being given my own responsibilities.”
Jackie Perry, Assistant Director of Communities and Customer Service added: “I am delighted to see our apprentices bringing their enthusiasm and energy to Muir.
“It is fantastic to see them embarking on a new journey which is proving to be just as exciting for us as it is for them.”