Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) President Geraldine Howley has pledged to focus on attracting new talent into housing during her year in office. Geraldine, who started her career as a temporary receptionist, is now chief executive at Bradford-based housing group Incommunities.
Geraldine says that industry leaders must do everything they can to encourage more young people to choose a career in housing. "Housing is a fantastic career choice with the opportunity to make a real difference to peoples’ lives.”
"If we are to make the most of the great work of Steve Stride’s Presidential Commission on leadership and diversity then we need to make the most of the talents of all young people from a diverse range of backgrounds.”
"We need to pay attention to where the next generation of housing professionals are coming from, as 50% of our profession are set to retire in the next five to 10 years. We need to do everything we can to ensure that young people are given the opportunity to seriously explore housing as a career option. That way the profession can flourish.”
"I want us to be recruiting from the widest pool of talent so that we build the best cohort of future leaders. This is an agenda that we can’t afford to ignore. As someone said recently at a CIH roundtable event, if housing is a family, where are the children?"
"I know through experience that today’s young people can do far more than we give them credit for. I’m determined that we won’t waste this talent and I will do all I can in my presidential year to develop this untapped well of potential."
Geraldine is aiming to build on the success of Incommunities’ Graduate Employment Mentoring (GEM) programme which provides training, qualifications and paid internships in housing for graduates.