Wednesday 13 September is Scottish Housing Day. The theme this year is celebrating housing as a career.
At the Kingdom Group, we all work together to deliver as One Kingdom for our customers. We have lots of different job roles across the Kingdom Group that allow us to do the work we do. A career in housing is about much more than the jobs that have ‘housing’ or ‘property’ in the title.
That’s why we want to introduce you to some of our colleagues who work across the Kingdom Group doing a range of jobs, but all working together to make sure we provide the level of service our customers expect.
“I’m Jordan Davies and I have been with Kingdom since July 2021 so a little over 2 years. I was taken on as a Customer Accounts Trainee and this was a 3 year traineeship. However, I recently got promoted to a Customer Accounts Officer, completing my traineeship a year earlier which has been a great achievement for myself.
The most rewarding part of my role is the ability to support customers in maintaining their tenancies as well as securing funding to support our tenants where issues arise. Another rewarding part of working with Kingdom is the ability to partake in higher studies. I am currently studying for CIH Level 4 in Housing, whilst maintaining my daily work. It has allowed me to further my growth and development for future roles as well as giving me more knowledge to thrive in my role.
The thing that surprised me most about housing is how vast it is! I had no idea that housing had so many departments and different roles. From the outside, it’s easy to think that there are housing officers and people who maintain the homes. But there’s so many other jobs available. That could be in IT, HR, Finance, Admin staff, Health & Safety, Payroll, and more!
Last year I was able to attend the SFHA conference that was in Glasgow and there was a spokesperson who said people land in housing and it’s stuck with me since, as I myself had landed a career in housing without necessarily looking for it, as one of my good friends was working with Kingdom and told me there was a job opportunity in the same department.
I would definitely encourage people to pursue a career in housing, as although it can be challenging it is a very rewarding career.”
Jordan Davies, Customer Accounts Officer
“Prior to joining Kingdom Housing Association, I managed student accommodation in Dundee. Before that I was a property manager for mid market rent properties throughout central Scotland.
I started with Kingdom just over 1 year ago and am currently the lead officer in the Care & Repair team. We work with our partners and funders Fife Council, to deliver the permanent disability adaptations and small repairs services to private sector homeowners throughout Fife.
The most rewarding part of my job is seeing the difference we can make to someone’s quality of life. For example, one customer that I met recently was over the moon to have us working with them to convert their current bathroom into an accessible wet floor shower room. They told me they hadn’t been able to have a bath or a shower for over 2 years as they couldn’t get into the bath, their carers had to wash them with a cloth and a basin of water which was embarrassing for them. They were so excited to be able to have a shower safely and, importantly, independently and have their dignity back.
To anyone considering a career in housing I would say go for it! There is such a variety of roles available within the housing sector there is something for everyone. No two days are the same so you will never be bored!”
Jill Hamiton, Care & Repair Lead Officer
“I began my career in housing, straight from school, securing a job as a trainee Admin Assistant for our Community Care department in our then office at Cowdenbeath. I knew nothing about housing, housing associations, I just wanted a job working in an office environment…who knew then I would still be here 25 years later!
After my traineeship was over, I secured full time employment at our Kirkcaldy office for a short period of time, before moving to Saltire as an Admin Officer when this office closed.
My time working in Admin was very varied, and primed me for moving further into housing as it gave me great experience of dealing with customers, dealing with difficult situations on telephone and face to face interviews in office, dealing with customers with varying needs.
In this time I also studied both on day release and weekend college to achieve SVQ in Business Administration, HNC in Administration Management & Homepoint accreditation.
I was then successful in obtaining a secondment to Housing Management to cover maternity leave, as a Housing Assistant where I dealt with allocation of properties, running housing lists and matching applicants, some low level neighbour disputes and rent arrears, and supporting my Housing Officer with any other duties. I absolutely loved this job and realised that it was now time to take the leap away from Admin, and fully into the housing world!
I secured a full time job as Housing Assistant, then latterly as a Housing Officer. This was a huge leap as it was a really challenging role, but something I felt was a natural progression from Housing Assistant as I had the basis of the skills required. I undertook my SVQ in Housing whilst in this role. I also had a short spell on Bank Staff for our Kingdom Support & Care Team the occasional weekend, which was great for personal development. Whilst in the job as Housing Officer I moved for a short secondment to our Customer Accounts Team for a few months, to help with high level debt cases, before returning to the team as Lead Housing Officer where I am at present, on a temporary basis covering maternity leave. This job is very different to Housing Officer, as it is taking a step away from managing cases on a daily basis, and supporting my staff team to do this, with a focus on performance management and supporting the team with my broad knowledge of the area and cases.
The most rewarding part of my job is supporting customers to be as happy as possible in their homes, whether this may be helping house customers who have been homeless, or supporting individuals in their tenancies, to improve their health & wellbeing.
If someone was considering a career in housing, I’d say … hold on tight! In all seriousness, I think housing is a great career choice as no two days are the same and you will never be bored in your job. It is a very reactive job and being organised is the key. Regardless of where you start in housing, you will obtain a lot of transferable skills to help you choose which path within housing you would like to explore. “
Marie Douglas, Lead Housing Officer
“Kingdom Support & Care is part of the Kingdom Group and the scope of the Group offers a huge range of job opportunities.
I have worked with Kingdom Support & Care for 5 years. After 12 years working in the charity sector I decided to put my efforts into providing practical help and support to individuals who need it given I had spent many years raising money for others to do so.
I applied to be a support worker within Kingdom as part of the James Bank service working with poeple who were homeless. After a few weeks I was introduced to the other side of the service which included supporting people in the community with a variety of different care and support needs.
Just over a year after I started in the role as Support Worker the position of Senior Support Worker was advertised within the service. Given I had not worked in social care before and was still learning everyday in my current role, I didn’t believe in myself enough to apply for it initially. My line manager and colleagues provided me with reassurance and encouragement that I needed and I decided to apply for the role. I completed the interview process and was given the role of Senior Support Worker.
The most rewarding part of my job is being able to provide the care and support to individuals that they need and deserve to enable them to live their life to the fullest. If the people that I support are smiling I know that I have made an impact on their lives at that moment which gives me a sense of achievement. When the people that I support and our amazing staff team are happy that makes me happy. Working for Kingdom Support and Care is an emotionally rewarding job.
If people are considering working for Kingdom Support and Care all I can say is go for it! There are many opportunities to develop and increase your skills and knowledge to allow you to widen your career path and you will be part of a team that is supporting people to live the life they choose as independently as possible.”
Sam Mackay, Senior Support Worker
“My first job in the housing sector was as a Modern Apprentice with Fairfield Housing Co-operative in 2017 when I was 21 years old. This was a great starting point as it allowed me to work in the housing environment and gain practical experience whilst being able to study in order to grow and develop academically.
Before the apprenticeship in housing I had been working at a call centre for home insurance as a customer service advisor. I didn’t find this particularly challenging or rewarding but I had no idea of which direction I wanted to go in my career. The rewards in my job are endless. If I had to narrow it down to one it would have to be being able to make positive changes to people’s lives every day through providing homes and supporting families to create safe and comfortable environments where they want to live. Whilst this comes with challenges and obstacles, it is all the more rewarding when you can achieve great results and make positive impacts on individuals and wider communities.
Housing sounds as though it’s very much focused on delivering houses and services to those in need but it very much goes beyond that. There are opportunities for a career in a vast variety of departments such as finance, development, HR, corporate governance, customer service, and health and safety to name a few. A job in housing can be a fantastic way of getting onto the career ladder and learning the skills and experience to further progress within the sector or to take with you into other areas of interest.
If anyone is thinking of starting a career in housing, keep an open mind and be prepared to think outside the box and go the extra mile. It is a really enjoyable job and one I would encourage anyone to embark on if they have the opportunity. Academic knowledge is great to have but the experience gained from the job is invaluable and can take you far. Explore other departments where you can to really find the area that fits you and your skills, but more importantly one you will enjoy. “
Alix McQueen, Housing Officer
I have worked with Kingdom Housing Association in Asset Management for over 20 years, I started as a contractor carrying out routine maintenance and voids for asset management. I did this for 3 years before a TUPE transfer as part of the repairs team being brought in house. I am a joiner to trade but also carried out plumbing, builder and roofing work. I was in this role for around 10 years. In 2015 there was an opportunity to temporarily cover the store due to the store’s person being off sick. I gladly offered to help out. The store’s person did not return and I took on the role full time. This then led to me assisting in the Maintenance team as a maintenance officer. As a result of this in 2016 I enrolled into the HNC in Construction Management course. In 2018 there was an opportunity to become the Repairs Services Coordinator looking after the operatives and in 2020 this role was promoted to The Repair Services Team Leader, at this time I also enrolled in the HND in construction management course. In 2020 I enrolled into a 3 year course at Heriot Watt University as a Graduate Apprentice Bachelor of Science in Construction and the Built Environment.
As a Joiner this role involves not only carrying out repairs for the tenants but customer service is also a key part, attending the appointment on time, keeping the tenant informed of what is happening and importantly leaving a satisfactory job and a happy tenant. As we are in social housing there are a number of different tenants with all sorts of different backgrounds, cultures and circumstances, sometimes the operative would be the only person they would see for weeks, so interacting with people was also a key part of the role.
As a Employee working at Kingdom Housing Association and in the housing sector, I can confidently say this is a rewarding job for me and my career path has been varied over the last 20 years. The most rewarding part of the job for me is job satisfaction working with various departments and the trades operatives to carry out the work for our customers. Seeing all that come together is really rewarding. Working for an Organisation that provides so much for the community is another reason I enjoy my role.
Having been in the construction and maintenance sector most of my working life, joining the housing sector was a natural move for me. I would recommend working in housing to anyone with a background in construction as their skills are transferable, especially to working in asset management.
Mike Hargreaves, Repair Services Team Leader