Further success for the Grow Our Own programme
Bailey Powell and Emily Myles joined Wales & West Housing’s Health & Safety Team at the beginning of 2022. They joined as part of the Grow Our Own programme on an 18-month graduate programme, aiming to equip them with professional skills and qualifications to be ready for work by the end of their time with us.
Lots of hard work, exams, full-time work and 18 months later; we’re thrilled to announce that both have been successful in securing permanent positions at Wales & West Housing. We caught up with the pair to reflect on their time in the Grow Our Own programme and tell us how they feel about securing permanent positions within the team.
Q: Congratulations! How do you feel now that you’ve ‘graduated from the graduate programme’ and secured a permanent position with Wales & West Housing?
Bailey: I was very pleased to find out that I’d secured the permanent job. I immediately let all my family know, who were very pleased for me. I’ve really enjoyed the graduate programme and I’m looking forward to continuing working for both the organisation and the Health and Safety Team. This was my first experience of the health and safety sector, and I’ve really enjoyed it, so it’s nice knowing I can continue it.
Emily: Really excited! I wanted to stay in my team and at Wales & West Housing in general, so I hoped I’d be able to get a permanent position. It feels like the time has flown by; it doesn’t feel that long ago I applied for the programme. I’m really looking forward to the next step!
How much did the graduate programme help you to prepare for the application process?
Bailey: The graduate programme helped me massively. It helped me gain skills and confidence within a professional office environment. It also enabled me to gain skills and qualifications to help me within my health and safety career; something I would’ve found very difficult to gain without the graduate programme. Joining the graduate programme also enabled me to learn more about the possibilities that are open to me and how I can progress within my professional life.
Emily: I couldn’t have got my new job without the graduate programme. While I was in the programme, I was able to study for the NEBOSH qualification while working in the Health and Safety Team. Getting the qualification and the experience at the same time prepared me for the application process.
Did the graduate programme meet your expectations from day 1?
Bailey: I was not sure what to initially expect as this was my first experience of working in an office environment. The opportunity to travel around Wales was something that I did not initially expect to do when starting the job and this is something that I have really enjoyed. The level of qualification that I’ve been able to do is another thing that exceeded my expectations and has really helped me gain confidence. It was also fun to meet other graduates in a similar position to me on the programme.
Emily: Yes, it was a great opportunity, as well as learning about my role we did different training days, visiting different offices, team building, self-reflection and building communication skills. The graduate programme helped me develop all different skills, not just my direct responsibilities and role. Even if I hadn’t wanted to stay in my department or with Wales & West Housing, I still learnt a lot of transferable skills.
Would you recommend the graduate programme to others?
Bailey: Yes, I would definitely recommend the graduate programme and have done already to friends. The programme has ensured that I have the correct skills and training to become a health and safety professional. It is also a good opportunity to meet and work with other graduates.
Emily: Yes! If you’re like me when I first applied and not completely sure what you want to do, it’s a great way to try something new and learn about all different parts of the business whilst also having the chance to study for a professional qualification. I found the programme really supportive and was really encouraged to try different things. It helped me make sure that I was making the right career choices+ and thinking about my development.
This year sees the largest expansion of the Grow Our Own programme to date, with 6 graduates due to join us in September. They’ll join our current 7 trainees, taking us to our highest total number of graduates on the programme since its creation in 2021. It will also see the widest range of departments on offer with new placements in Housing, PR & Communications and ICT being added to the list of graduate placements we offer, alongside roles in Corporate Services, Data, Development, Finance and Property Services.
You can find out more about our Grow Our Own programme here.