Filling the knowledge gap in housing
It’s UK National Careers Week, and part of CIH’s role in making housing a career of choice for our young people is working with our partners to make sure there are the right education and training channels to access the sector. Here’s an example of what we’re doing, from Northern Ireland.
In 2015, Ulster University axed its housing management degree after 27 years. The course that delivered ready-made housing professionals was the only one of its kind across the island of Ireland, and its absence was felt throughout the sector.
With the restoration of the Assembly via the New Decade New Approach deal, housing has been elevated to a place that was long overdue. Cementing housing as a standalone deliverable outcome in the forthcoming programme for government gives credence to the fact that it is an area of social policy, that if not treated as the linchpin to citizens’ wellbeing, will impact negatively (and be costly) on many other areas of public service.
We believe that housing is no different to other areas of public policy, such as health or education, that require a level of training that recognises the professional nature of the services. It is a profession in its own right, deserving of knowledgeable and experienced individuals ready to deliver a top-quality service to customers.
For some time now, the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) has been exploring ways to plug both the academic and vocational gap left by the loss of the housing management degree in Northern Ireland. Conversations between stakeholders and Belfast Metropolitan College are underway, and reinstating a housing course that combines academia with vocation are at the centre of those conversations.
Although we’ve a way to go, we’re confident that we are well on the way to plugging a gap that was left by the loss of the degree programme.
Though it must be said, despite the loss of the degree, both CIH and the sector continue to deliver training and qualifications that enhance the professionalism standard within the industry.
An example of this among local landlords is the Housing Executive graduate trainee programme, whereby graduates are required to complete an external professional qualification alongside their internal training programme - the cost of which is covered by the Housing Executive. You can find out more about the graduate training programme here.
If you want to know more about how CIH can support your career in housing, visit our Housing Academy.