Winner of Apprentice of the year for Sysco 2021/22

When enrolling onto the Housing Apprenticeship, Ashleigh was working at Bedspace as a Regional Maintenance Manager. She knew she wanted to go into Supported Social Housing and her long-term goal was to work in Assets, so she took a risk and applied for a five-month temporary position at Riverside Housing as a Housing Officer and was successful.  A few months later Ashleigh gained a full-time permanent position as a Housing Officer. A brand-new opportunity came up for a secondment as an Aids and Adaptions Officer and Ashleigh was successful.

The apprenticeship has been very beneficial for Ashleigh. When Ashleigh enrolled, she had very little Housing knowledge she just knew she wanted to work in the Housing industry. Ashleigh advised that she couldn’t ask for a better tutor. She has been really supportive and has really enjoyed the course.

Ashleigh’s tutor Lesley Fitzgerald..

Ashleigh has developed so much since she started her apprenticeship. She has shown a high degree of tenacity and personal growth. She took a risk leaving her job to pursue potential opportunities in a different Housing Association. Her new role has been a challenge but also a huge learning experience and having recently obtained the position of Aids and Adaptions Officer LCR this risk has really paid off – well done Ashleigh.

Throughout our time together Ashleigh has always had a forward-thinking approach, and this has been demonstrated in her going for career enhancement opportunities such as the Housing Officer role at Riverside. Although, she has only been in that role a relatively short period of time again she has been focused on her longer-term career aims and she has recently been successful in gaining a new role as Aids and Adaptions Officer LCR. To facilitate her career further she has requested and been appointed a coach and mentor to look at areas of her career to identify improvements. Ashleigh is focusing on an improved work life balance the moment but also looking at conflict management, resolving confidence issues around e.g. doing presentations etc. She also has a clear pathway regarding where she wants to travel in the future and is extremely focused on learning and development as a vehicle to help her on her journey. 

Ashleigh’s Manager James Middleton of Riverside Housing..

Ashleigh has been required to learn quickly on the job during her time at Riverside, she adapted really well to the demands of the Housing Officer role and I have witnessed her becoming more confident in approaching and influencing colleagues from across the business at various levels in order to achieve the tasks set for her. The role of a Housing Officer is very demanding in terms of the workload and the range of skills required to be successful and Ashleigh quickly became one of the most reliable Housing Officers in the region, whilst working on one of the most demanding patches. In addition, as she has gained more knowledge of the business, I have noticed that Ashleigh has increasingly taken a holistic view on the way in which we work and is always keen to question current processes whilst offering alternative ways of doing things. I have been extremely impressed with Ashleigh’s capacity to take a strategic view on things when it is often very easy to get bogged down with the operational day to day aspects of the job. Ashleigh is already coming up with ideas for improving the process by which this is managed. We are about to undertake an organisation-wide review of the process for Aids and Adaptations, and I am extremely pleased that Ashleigh will be involved in this as I am sure that she will have a great deal to offer in shaping the service going forward. Ashleigh is keen to progress her career in an Asset Management role and I have no doubt that she will be successful in this, and it won’t be long before she is in a more senior role.

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