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In an area like Southwark, which is home to the largest amount of social housing in London, a career in the housing sector can indeed be worth looking at.
There are two different styles of housing jobs within the public sector; housing regeneration, which deals with the more technical aspects of housing including architecture, surveying, project management, and social housing, which deals with assisting people who have problems, i.e. homelessness, disputes, land and community issues. It is this latter area that we are focusing on here and jobs can be found with the numerous housing associations and obviously councils across London.
But if you are starting out, a good place to start is Lewisham College - they offer a variety of jobs in housing, both for those already working in the sector looking to get promotion and those expressing an interest in such a career.
Of the courses on offer at Lewisham is a Housing Foundation Certificate Level 2 course. Start dates are September and February and the course runs for seven hours per week for eighteen weeks at their Lewisham campus. The course is aimed at school leavers from 16-18 years old, as well as adult learners. The course is also suitable for tenants looking to improve general awareness of housing issues.
It teaches you the basic issues affecting rented housing. It also looks at the different types of organisations in the sector. Students develop specific housing communication skills and look at the different roles within the sector and the abilities needed to support them. Skills for working effectively in a team are also learnt. A short period on work placement within a housing organisation is arranged in the latter half of the course. And all you need to do enrol is sit an aptitude test and attend an interview.
Once on the course, assessment is through assignments, class work, group work and oral presentations (75%). The remaining 25% is assessed by the Chartered Institute of Housing. Students also meet regularly with tutors to help plan studies and discuss progress.
Once completed you can go on to the Level 3 National Certificate in Housing on a day-release or distance-learning basis. It may also be possible to progress to other Level 3 qualifications in areas such as the care sector, and ultimately a job in housing or social care. If you are under 19 and a home student you don't pay any fees. If not, the course fee is £290 and the exam fee £100.
Other courses with Chartered Institute of housing qualifications at Lewisham include Supported Housing, Tenant participation & Neighbourhood Renewal, housing management and more foundation certificates and foundation degrees for housing profesionals. For more details and to contact them see their ad below.
Another good way in or simply to enquiry about getting a job in the housing sector would be to approach an organisation like Pathways2work. A free service funded by Family Mosaic and Southwark Council, they can help you get work in this sector and a whole host of other sectors. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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