In the second of our pieces to mark CIH Careers Week, Faisal Butt challenges housing organisations to ensure they are attracting, developing and retaining talent
When I started working in housing many years ago, I was naive enough to believe it was just about managing bricks and mortar.
A decade later, I often wonder what led me to have such a narrow view of the sector and about what we can do to make working in housing a more attractive career prospect.
According to the Chartered Institute of Housing, there are estimated to be more than 150,000 people working in housing throughout the UK.
Housing employers account for a high percentage of the UK workforce. In fact, within many cities, large housing organisations are major employers in the local area.
“I’m constantly amazed by the variety of non-traditional careers available in housing.”
Housing organisations need the skills and experience of people within a wide range of disciplines and this means that there are a wide range of opportunities for people.
Having worked in a number of roles, from officer to director level, I’m constantly amazed by the variety of non-traditional careers available in housing.
For example, you can work as a disruptions officer for Halton Housing, create and innovate in a policy lab for Waltham Forest Council or be a part of a design studio at Bromford.
As a sector we continually evolve, but in my opinion, we have not quite yet made the next big discovery that will significantly push forward the great appeal of working in housing.
I have yet to find an organisation that has built or procured the perfect housing management system, has no complaints and whose properties are immaculately maintained.
I believe there is still significant opportunity to make a revolutionary jump and through our combined collective we have a real opportunity to take that leap.
What I do love about working in the sector is the constant exposure to new ideas, new ways of working, emerging technologies, passionate workforces and of course the residents.
“It is important that, as a sector, we create momentum and dialogue around careers.”
The housing sector needs professionals, whoever they are, wherever they are. It is important that, as a sector, we create momentum and dialogue around careers with a vision of establishing and growing people who will find a career in housing attractive from the outset.
A challenge to us all is: how are we developing our organisations in order to attract and retain talent?
Our social purpose as a sector hasn’t changed and now our drive needs to reflect our ability to really showcase the breadth of opportunity there is by working in the housing sector.
Faisal Butt, commissioning lead for housing, Barnet Council; and board member, CIH Futures
More about CIH Careers Week:
What is CIH Careers Week?
Careers Week articles:
What are you doing to make a career in housing attractive? Faisal Butt challenges the sector on what its doing to attract and retain talent
Promoting housing careers beyond the sector's echo chamber We all have a role to play in making a career in housing more appealing, writes Adam Clark
Use the power of mentoring Why everybody in the sector should mentor a young person, by Elly Hoult
The apprenticeship game To mark the Chartered Institute of Housing’s #CIHCareersWeek, we are republish a piece looking at apprenticeships in the sector
Your #CIHCareersWeek videos Housing’s best and brightest have made Twitter videos this week to answer the question: why housing? Watch a selection of them below