Throughout National Apprenticeship Week, we're speaking to some of our current and former apprentices and trainees to find out a bit more about them.
RBH HomeChoice team manager Paul Blayney joined RBH as a trainee community support officer in August 2010, based in Freehold and Lower Falinge.
"I was 30 when I started my traineeship. Although I live locally, I hadn't been involved in the housing sector before I started my traineeship. I really enjoyed my time as a trainee, and I was very grateful for the opportunities given to me throughout my traineeship to develop wider skills and gain a more rounded experience of RBH."
In May 2012, Paul was appointed to the permanent role of Income Recovery Officer. His time as a trainee was also recognised when he was awarded the prestigious national Chartered Institute of Housing "Nicky Chapman" award, recognising disabled people who are doing excellent work in housing. Paul has progressed in his career with RBH; after initially getting the opportunity to step up into a management role on a temporary basis, he is now one of our HomeChoice Team Managers.
"I've had the opportunity during my time at RBH to develop my own skill set. I've been part of the team looking into how RBH employees can work in a more agile fashion, and I've been able to work on a number of projects. In recent years, my role has included overseeing the RBH "Pass It On" scheme and paint re-use scheme, which make a real difference to our tenants every day. I've also had the opportunity to work with new trainees, and I've seen from a manager's perspective how our trainees are a huge asset to teams and to RBH. You'll get out what you put in, and if you're prepared to work hard, an RBH traineeship is a terrific opportunity."
We asked Paul to say a few words on camera about his experiences with RBH so far - click here to watch the video.
Paul's responsibilities include managing the new RBH Paint Shop, which is run on a day-to-day basis by RBH's Paint Re-Use Operative, Mohammed (Usman) Hayyidar. Usman is also a former RBH trainee who has become a full-time and permanent RBH employee. Usman was appointed as a trainee rehousing officer in 2012 after initially joining RBH as a volunteer in the Lower Falinge office, and he has worked with our Pass It On and Paint Re-Use team since 2014.
In November, we interviewed Usman to find out a bit more about how the Paint Shop helps our customers and communities - click here to watch.