Aspire takes lead on Housing Apprenticeship Trailblazer Programme

Following the announcement in March 2014 by Prime Minister David Cameron that housing was to become one of the successful Phase 2 Trailblazers, today The Aspire Group is pleased to announce that the new apprenticeship standard for Housing Management is now live.

The new apprenticeships approach will ensure that the apprentices of the future have the skills to meet the needs of the economy. The programme will define the content of apprenticeships, ensuring they are more rigorous and actually equip learners with the skills that are in demand by employers. This means that when an apprentice completes their training and finds a suitable position, they will be ready to start work, with the precise skill-set the employer wants, and in future apprenticeships will be held in the same regard as university degrees.

The new format apprenticeships will bring fundamental change which put employers in control. This is a positive step which will result in employers valuing apprenticeships, safe in the knowledge that those who have completed them will have worked to a standard that the employers have written.

Skills Minister Nick Boles said: “I’m delighted that the housing sector has developed a new apprenticeship standard in Housing Management.
“Since 2010 there have been 1.8 million apprenticeship starts and the housing sector is leading by example in the development and delivery of high quality apprenticeships that give people the chance of successful careers and help businesses get the skills they need to grow.”

In creating the standard, 96% of respondents agreed that it was suitable for its intended use. Drafted within a strong partnership of employers, registered providers and partners, including the NHF, CIH and Asset Skills (the full list is detailed below), it was chaired by The Aspire Group, with an interest in ensuring that the Housing Management Level 3 Apprenticeship was fit for purpose.

To summarise, the new apprenticeships will be of:
• high quality, with higher expectations for English and Maths skills and a more comprehensive assessment at the end of the programme, with the introduction of a qualitative grading system,
• simple, the existing complex frameworks will be replaced with standards which are created and written by the employers, and
• employer driven, ensuring the training provided will support and promote economic development and growth for years to come.


For further information, please contact Toby Aiken or Mark Symington on 01386 443300, or

Notes to Editors
1. The full list of partners involved in drafting the standard follows: Led by organisations including Aspire Group, Amicus Horizon, Affinity Sutton, Coast and Country Housing, Futures Housing Group, Guinness Housing Partnership, New Charter Housing Trust Group, The Community Housing Group, Yarlington Housing Group, Chartered Institute of Housing and National Housing Federation.
2. Approved standards are available here:
Standards still in development will be listed here:
3. The reformed apprenticeships will be:
• employer-led and designed so they respond to the needs of industry, meaning each apprentice has the skills required by the sector
• focused on quality so the apprentice has to demonstrate their ability through rigorous assessment at the end of their apprenticeship
• based on short and clear standards written by employers in language that they understand.
4. The Aspire Group is a social business that provides housing, training and neighbourhood services. The group is made up of:
• Aspire Housing, which provides around 20,000 customers with quality affordable homes and services
• Enterprising Futures, the social enterprise arm of the Aspire Group. Social Enterprise West Midlands (SEWM), PM Training and Furniture Mine are part of Enterprising Futures.
• The Realise Foundation, our unique regeneration charity that supports apprenticeships, lifelong learning and environmental improvement.