County Durham-based housing association Believe Housing has launched a Board Trainee Programme in a bid to nurture potential Board members of the future.

Recruitment of the first cohort for the two-year programme aims to attract a diverse group of applicants, and prepare them to apply for and secure Board positions at Believe Housing or elsewhere in the housing and third sector.

Applicants do not need any prior experience of social housing. The only requirements are that they are over 18 years old and ready to embrace Believe Housing’s vision of “life without barriers”.

Judith Common, Chair of the Board at Believe Housing, said: “We want to develop a talent pool of potential Board members, for Believe Housing and the wider housing sector.

“We’ll get them Board ready, with the skills, experience and confidence to apply for and secure Board positions.

“The scheme will empower trainees by enhancing their own personal and career development and hopefully enrich Boards of the future, helping them to make the best decisions for social housing customers and communities.

“At Believe Housing we’re passionate about our vision of “life without barriers” and committed to being as equitable, diverse and inclusive as possible.

“We want a really diverse group of people to join the Board Trainee Programme because we know that Believe Housing and the wider housing sector, therefore our customers and communities, will benefit from greater diversity of thought and lived experience.

“We want to hear from anyone who feels they have something to offer and is keen to grow, especially if they’ve previously felt that non-executive director positions were out of reach for them.”

Believe Housing is an innovative multi-award-winning not-for-profit housing association with more than 18,000 homes across County Durham and beyond.

It aims to deliver “life without barriers” through innovative support for customers new and old, extensive community funding programmes, plus huge investment in building new homes and upgrading existing ones.

The housing association will work with training company Altair to deliver the two-year programme, in person and virtually.

The course will provide an overall introduction to the organisation’s governance and the social housing sector, development of skills like challenge and negotiation, and experience of reading reports and attending meetings.

Trainees will get a development plan, incorporating mentoring and coaching and identifying individual training requirements.

They will be paid £2,000 a year for committing about two days a month to the course, along with reasonable expenses.

Applications are open between Thursday, 29 September 2022 and Friday, 28 October 2022.

“This is a great opportunity for people with curious minds, who come up with creative solutions and are full of ideas and up for a challenge.

“They might not see their own qualities or potential, even if they’re using them every day at home, in their community or work.

“We think they could have a lot to offer so we’ll help them develop their skills, and we know we’ll learn a lot from them along the way,” said Judith.

For more information and to apply click here