Housing Association builds on local talent

A housing association is investing in local talent and helping graduates build their careers.

Staffordshire Housing Association has given traineeships to Dan Ratcliffe and Chris Shaw, both 22, who have degrees in finance and accounting.

The two graduates are now working in the association’s finance department and the SHA will pay for them to gain their Chartered Institute of Management Accounting qualifications.

The arrangement has mutual benefits: the pair gain valuable experience and professional development while the SHA can call on the graduates’ up-to-date knowledge.

Sharon Shaw, SHA’s head of finance, said: “For us it’s about keeping things local; part of our mission is to focus on the community in North Staffordshire and we’ve been able to do that.

“But we also benefit because we’ve taken on two people with very good degrees who fit in very well with the rest of the team, and they’re excited, eager and willing.”

This is the first time the SHA has taken on finance trainees and the opportunities came about because of a restructuring in the finance department.

The department is adopting international financial reporting standards and will benefit from their new trainees’ recently studying the subject.

Dan and Chris spend most of their time processing transactions and carrying out other day-to-day tasks, but they will also work on projects which cut across departmental boundaries and so enrich their work experience.

Dan and Chris have good cause to celebrate their new posts because both were struggling to find work despite earning good degrees.

Dan, who gained a degree from Keele University and lives in Blurton, said: “It’s a brilliant opportunity. I’d been looking for a job for several months but all the employers were asking for experience, which I obviously didn’t have.”

Meanwhile Chris, who studied at Staffordshire University and lives in Birches Head, added: “I’m really enjoying it because there’s a lot of variety in the work. I’d been searching unsuccessfully for a job for a few months because all the jobs asked for experience, so I’m really pleased I managed to get this.”­­­


For media enquiries contact Sarah Pye or Sandra Barber at Staffordshire Housing Association on 01782 744533.

Notes to Editors:

Staffordshire Housing Group is committed to building a better future for local communities.  The group’s parent organisation, Staffordshire Housing Association, has around 3,000 homes for rent and sale, including three older people’s villages, and offers a range of tenant services. Revival Home Improvement Agency works with older and vulnerable home owners to help them stay warm, secure and independent in well-maintained homes. Blue Mountain Housing Association works closely with refugees to provide essential support and help with access to healthcare, education, training and employment.  Since April 2012, Hanley-based charity Arch has been part of the group. Arch provides accommodation and support services to people in need, including survivors of domestic violence, ex-offenders and young people leaving care.