From education to employment

emh group and Access Training partner on exceptional customer service

Recruiting and retaining only the best candidates presents an ongoing challenge for any social housing provider. It’s a challenge that Access Training has been supporting housing associations with for some 35 years.

Being co-owned by Futures Housing Group and Nottingham Community Housing Association makes East Midlands based Access Training an apprenticeship provider of choice for the Housing sector. It has recently embarked on a client feedback programme to identify why housing associations and local authority housing departments continue to entrust their apprenticeship programmes year on year to Access.

Its first interviewee was Steffan Beange, Customer Experience Team Leader at emh group, which owns and manages around 20,000 properties in 40 local authority areas across the East Midlands. 

Steffan describes emh group’s most recent project with Access: 

“As part of our commitment to leadership development and training, we selected a third of our Customer Services department for accelerated learning. Using our Apprenticeship Levy monies seemed a perfect vehicle to fund this training but we needed a schedule that would suit our working environment. 

In scaling up our apprenticeships, our L&D team first undertook an analysis of local providers. Access was by far the strongest performer on knowledge of the sector, understanding of our requirements and building a strong working relationship with us from the off, as well as the flexibility of their delivery model.

As a busy first-point-of-contact centre, we can’t afford to take all team members away from the phones at the same time. Access worked with us to offer classroom-style training at two different times of the week which has meant that we can maintain our service levels and cater for our part-time workers.” 

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