Mike Hargreaves and Kirsty Stott from Kingdom Housing Association are about to embark on a BSc in Construction and The Built Environment - due to their previous qualifications and experience.
The Graduate Apprenticeship scheme at Heriot-Watt University offered Kingdom the ideal opportunity for employees keen to take their career to the next level, combining work-based learning with University study. Both Mike and Kirsty have been able to join the four-year degree programme in year two.
When asked why she was keen to undertake a place on the Graduate Apprenticeship scheme, Kirsty said:
“I thought this was a great opportunity to work towards a degree and it would allow me to further myself in terms of gaining knowledge and also network with people in the same sector of work. The course specification is very relatable to the job roles in my department which will allow me to have a better understanding of the construction and built environment sector. It will also allow me to give a better performance in my role and support others in my team. By undertaking the course, it gives me an opportunity to progress within the company. I have been allowed extra time to complete tight unit deadlines. Also other departments have helped with certain aspects where my knowledge or understanding was limited. Kingdom has been very supportive to me while I have been carrying out my studies throughout my traineeship.”
Mike Hargreaves learned about the Graduate Apprenticeship scheme from Kingdom’s Learning and Development Officer and immediately saw the benefits not only for his own professional development, but also for the Association:
“Kingdom has been really supportive of my desire to take the next step in my career progression. Working towards a BSc in Construction and The Built Environment will certainly further my knowledge and my career opportunities and I look forward to sharing my new knowledge and skills with my colleagues.”
Sandy Murray, Director of Apprenticeships at Heriot-Watt, added “The addition of Mike and Kirsty to our Graduate Apprenticeship family is a great example of how GA programmes can provide flexible opportunities for both employees and companies. Particularly in the current environment, giving development opportunities for existing staff is going to be crucial going forward. We’re delighted to welcome Mike and Kirsty onboard.”
One of Kingdom’s strategic objectives is to be an employer of choice and supporting the personal and professional development of its people is key to achieving this.
Andrew Latto is Kingdom Housing Association’s interim Director of H.R. and is a strong advocate for the scheme: “Kingdom strives to be an employer of choice and is continually looking to improve the quality and efficiency of the work we do. A key part of all that is to ensure our people are confident, competent and qualified in their current and future roles. The graduate apprenticeship scheme is a great way of helping us achieve that and complements our other learning strategies and activities well.”
Based in Fife and working across East Central Scotland, Kingdom provides housing to meet a wide range of needs. Since its creation over 40 years ago, Kingdom has developed more than 5,000 affordable homes, the majority being for social rent, and also provides Mid-Market rental properties and factoring services.
Kingdom Housing Association is a Registered Social Landlord with charitable status.