We’d like to introduce you to our new Trainee Board Scheme, a programme we’ve designed to support and nurture a more diverse look of housing boards in the future. In partnership with the Chartered Institute of Housing, we have put together a two-year development programme to offer board experience for those individuals who may find it a challenge to gain such opportunities, with the longer-term outcome that they become full Board Members either at Platform or elsewhere within the housing sector. It’s part of our aspiration to have an employee group that represents the communities that we serve and bring different thoughts and opinions on the work that we do.
During the scheme they’ll gain all sorts of experience like sitting in on board meetings and receiving mentorships from members of our current board. They’ll also have their own board meetings to discuss important issues and study modules about governance, resulting in an accredited qualification at the end of the two years.
Earlier in the year we advertised the positions and received almost 150 applications from people keen to get involved. We didn’t demand that they have any previous experience in housing, just that they felt passionately about the work we do and the difference we can make as a sector. The five successful members come from a diverse set of backgrounds, and all come to the programme with a real desire to increase their knowledge and improve their skills. As the first people to ever do it, their involvement over the next two years will also help shape how the programme looks in the future.
They include Neelam, a 32-year old project manager from Huddersfield;
Edd, a 35 year old maintenance supervisor from Telford;
Remi, a project manager from London;
Kaeden, an 18-year-old project management apprentice from Birmingham, recently sat in on the quarterly meeting of the board and the executive team – something each of the members will get to do in turn over the course of the programme.