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Our first trainee from a new training and employment scheme has started work aiming to help boost our homebuilding programme.

Will Gates has joined our new homes team as a trainee development officer thanks to a new initiative by housing associations in Bristol to support people to take their first steps in the industry. The Bristol Housing Partnership (BHP) Academy was launched in the summer, with the aim of attract young people to a career in housing development. Will has joined our new homes team having previously been an apprentice in our property investment team. He’s one of 10 trainees appointed by the members of the BHP which is made up of 14 housing associations working with Bristol City Council to deliver more affordable homes in the city.

Over the next two years Will will receive specialist training plus on-the-job learning within our existing new homes team.

Twenty-year-old Will said: “This is a new challenge for me, it’s a bit of a step into the unknown. The first few weeks of the training have been a real eye-opener, as there was so much new information to absorb.

“I’d always been interested in the work of the new homes team, so this was a great opportunity for me. Building new homes is the focus for a lot of housing associations and with our aspirations of building thousands of new homes over the next ten years there’s going to be lots for me to do.”

Development manager Ellen Copeland added: “We delighted to welcome Will as our first trainee development officer. There’s a lot of for him to learn over the next couple of years but he’s already made a flying start in his new role.

“We’re aiming to build at least 1,000 new homes every year across our whole area but we need people with the right skills to help us do this. Along with other members of the Bristol Housing Partnership, we’re committed to investing in young people to help them develop these skills and to help them kick start their careers.”

Over the next five years the Bristol Housing Partnership members are aiming to build 2,500 new homes in Bristol alone. Ultimately the partnership aims to reduce homelessness, support people to live independent and fulfilling lives, improve local communities and build the homes the people of Bristol need.

Writing about all things housing related for more than 10 years.

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